Bass guitar is the engine of the band,” says Suzi Quatro, the first female bass player to become a major rock star in the Seventies.  This comment was supported by Quincy Jones, musician and music producer who said; “Without the Fender bass, there would be no rock and roll or Motown!”

Local music enthusiasts are in luck on Sunday 29th October when one of Durban’s finest up-and-coming bass guitarists, Llewelyn Chetty, performs on the Sunday Beats stage at Suncoast Casino Hotels and Entertainment.

Making magic up and down the frets and strings of his bass guitar is what has put Chetty in demand as a local session musician.

Although the bass guitar is often overlooked as a key instrument in a band, top musicians realise its importance in the realm of music, as providing the foundation for bot rhythm and harmony.

Michael Jackson recognized the bass guitar’s unique role and featured it prominently in his hit, Billie Jean, saying, “Listen, you’re hearing four basses on there, doing four different personalities, and that’s what gives it character, but it takes a lot of work.”

Here’s more from the talented Llewelyn Chetty:


Q: Do you come from a musical background?

A: My uncle and cousins are all musicians so music has been a very prominent soundtrack in my life.


Q: How old were you when you first picked up a musical instrument?

A: 13.


Q: What was your first musical instrument?

A: I first learnt to play an acoustic guitar before moving onto the bass.


Q: Where have you showcased your bass-guitar skills?

A: Apart from playing with various bands, I have also performed with orchestras in the Starlight Pop Opera Concerts and in theatre musicals, including Hairspray and Legally Blonde, at the Snedden Theatre in Durban.


Q: Can you do any name-dropping?

A: I have performed with many local bands and artists such as Natalie Rungan, Burton Naidoo, Neil Gonsalves, SAMA nominees Heels Over Head, Melvyn Peters, Dane Francis, Martin Sigamoney, Jae and Liana Barciela, just to name a few.


Q: Do you have a day job or are you a full-time musician?

A: I am very blessed that I can devote all my time to my musical passion and have opportunities to perform in Cape Town and Johannesburg too.


Q: Are there any famous bass players who have influenced your music?

A: There are some fabulous bass guitarists in the US who I admire including the legendary late Jaco Pastorius, Grammy award-winner Victor Wooten and John Patitucci (jazz bassist).


Q: If you could collaborate or perform on stage with any famous band or musician who would it be?

A: Most definitely Toto!


Q: What is your outlook on life?

A: My passion and determination allows me to continue to work hard and always strive to be the best.


Q: What type of music will you be playing at Sunday Beats?

A: My band and I will be performing a combination of jazz and pop to entertain the crowd.

“Llewelyn Chetty is such a marvel on the bass guitar,” says SUNCOAST Marketing Manager, Louise Howell. “He really puts the instrument in the spotlight for all to enjoy. This Sunday Beats session promises to be a goodie.”

Llewelyn Chetty will be performing at SUNCOAST’s Sunday Beats on Sunday (29 October) from 2pm at the Amphitheatre. For more information on Sunday Beats and future performances visit

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