Born in Edinburgh, Quaye went to school in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. However, he left school with no qualifications. Before making records he took employment spraying cars, smoking fish, making futons and as a stage-rigger and scaffolder.
His father was born in London, but considered himself as African. Although known as Cab Kaye, his full name was Nii Lante Augustus Kwamlah Quaye and he was a Chief of the GA tribe centralized in Jamestown, Accra. Kaye was the son of the pianist Caleb Jonas Quaye a.k.a. Mope Desmond, who was born in Accra, Ghana. Kaye did not grow up with his father and only found out, in his twenties, about his father's history as a musician. Mope Desmond, Cab Kaye and Finley Quaye have all played Glasgow's Barrowlands, Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall and London's Cafe d'Paris. Finley was on tour with his band when he met his father for the first time in Amsterdam.
Finley Quaye was inspired early on in his childhood by jazz musicians Pete King, Ronnie Scott, who started his musical career making tea and running errands in Finley's father's band, and Lionel Hampton. Additionally, Duke Ellington was Finley Quaye's godfather. Quaye heard jazz as a child living in London with his mother, who would take him with her to Ronnie Scott's jazz club to catch performances of American jazz musicians touring Europe such as Buddy Rich, who recorded his live album there in 1980. His mother introduced him to Lionel Hampton in Edinburgh.
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Famous quotes containing the word life:
“The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody elses imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!”
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