Born and raised in Chicago, Faye gratefully recalls that her parents transmitted their love of Broadway musicals and of music in general to her from a very young age. She started piano lessons at age six and over the next few years attended the Harand Academy of the Arts, where she got to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Peter in Peter Pan! Faye began her academic studies as a piano major at the Chicago Musical College/Roosevelt University and during that time sang in the professional Grant Park Symphony Chorus. She continued as both a piano and voice major at San Francisco State University, the city in which she also began singing jazz, and earned her bachelor’s degree in music at Excelsior College in Albany, New York.
When a fascination with Europe led Faye to Italy in 1979, she began singing with prominent Italian jazz musicians, and quickly discovered Italian song. There she also delved into the rich and varied world of Jewish song—from the ancient Sephardic and Ashkenazic to the more modern Israeli and American—performing throughout Italy, Europe, and the USA with internationally known musicians Igor Polesitsky, Joel Hoffman, Mauro Grossi, David Bellugi and Ivano Battiston.
Possessing a versatility that enables her participation in duos, trios, ensembles, and orchestras, she co-founded the trio Shir-Am 3, the Gebirtig Trio and theensemble Trialogo. Throughout, Faye has continued to offer dynamic concerts of jazz, Italian and American music with the Denver Pops Orchestra, trumpet-player Steve Christopher and his band and pianists Mauro Grossi, Marco Rapetti and Deborah Schmit-Lobis.
Highlights from Faye’s concert engagements include the 2nd International Festival of Jewish Culture in Venice, Italy, concerts dedicated to Polish songwriter Mordechai Gebirtig for the ORF National Radio in Vienna, Austria, at the Yiddish Theater of Warsaw, Poland, the Institute of Jewish Culture of Krakow, Poland, and the Juvarra Theater in Turin, Italy (the latter recorded and broadcast worldwide by RAISAT, Italy’s National Satellite TV Channel). She has sung at the Moscow Conservatory of Music, the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome (at Luciano Berio’s invitation), and the Santa Chiara Monastery of Naples, as well as in some of Italy’s most prestigious concert series, including the Amici della Musica of Florence, the GOG of Genoa, Tempo Reale of Florence, Settembre Musica of Turin, and Milano Musica of Milan. She recently appeared as a soloist with the Klezmerata Fiorentina at the Martha Argerich Festival in Lugano, Switzerland. In the US, she was Artist-in-Residence at the Boulder Jewish Community Center in 2010-11 and performs concerts of Jewish music with Sheldon Sands and the Boulder Klezmer Consort.
In 1999, Faye interpreted the role of Mary Poppins (Italian version) at the Arena del Sole of Bologna. She sang as soloist with pianist Marco Vavolo and the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana over several years of concert tours dedicated to the music of Walt Disney films and American musicals. Her greatest honor was being invited to sing, a cappella, at the memorial gathering held on September 12, 2001 in one of Florence’s most beautiful squares, Piazza Signoria. Over 6,000 people were in attendance and the occasion was broadcast nationwide.
Faye has recorded two CDs of Jewish music, Tum-Balalayke and Shir-Am Live, sung live on Italian, Swiss and Austrian radio stations and was invited by director Roberto Faenza to sing the theme song on the soundtrack for the major Italian film Prendimi l’Anima (The Soul Keeper). She has recently provided both her voice and vocal coaching to singer/songwriter Joan H. Langford’s new CD project Dancing in the Kitchen.