Battle of the Saxes at Wits

Karendra Devroop (jazz saxophone) & Matthew Lombard (classical saxophone) in Battle of the Saxes
Karendra Devroop (jazz saxophone) & Matthew Lombard (classical saxophone) in Battle of the Saxes

What could make for a more exciting evening of music than a musical stand-off between Classical and Jazz saxophonists!?

Wits Theatre and Wits School of Arts/Division of Music present Battle of the Saxes with Karendra Devroop (jazz saxophone) & Matthew Lombard (classical saxophone).

Battle of the Saxes will take to the Wits Main Theatre stage on Saturday 18 April 2015 pitting the talents of Karendra Devroop, a jazz saxophonist, against Matthew Lombard , a classical saxophonist. Both will be accompanied by a jazz rhythm section and string quartet.

The concert is divided into three segments: classical saxophone with string quartet accompaniment, jazz saxophone with rhythm section and finally, both jazz and classical saxophonists with rhythm section and string quartet accompaniment performing a large new work (written by Noel Stockton), that was commissioned for jazz and classical saxophone. Additional repertoire will include various South African jazz tunes and some works by Astor Piazzolla.

Karendra Devroop is a nationally renowned jazz saxophone player with a growing international profile. He has performed extensively across South Africa with some of the country’s leading jazz musicians including Melvin Peters, Marc Duby, Feya Faku, Zim Nqawana, Kesivan Naidoo, Andre Peterson, Kevin Gibson and Shaun Johannes. He has also performed Internationally :across the USA (highlight festivals include Gretna Jazz Festival, North Texas Jazz Festival, Virginia Arts Festival and Beach Street USA), Netherlands (2013 Amersfoort Jazz Festival), Thailand (2013 Samui Latin and Jazz Festival) and Taipei International Music Expo. He recently performed alongside Dr Lonnie Liston Smith with the international saxophone summit that included Alexander Beets (Netherlands), Koh Mr Saxman (Thailand) and Ben van de Dungen (Belgium). His quartet recently opened the Gretna Jazz Festival in the USA alongside legendary pianist Cedar Walton. He has performed as a side stage act to Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago, Queen Latifah and Jill Scott and also as lead saxophonist with several international jazz big bands including the Dallas Jazz Orchestra. In addition to a full performing schedule, Devroop is in demand as a conductor and clinician both nationally and internationally.

Matthew Lombard is one of only a few classically trained saxophonists in South Africa, and actively performs and teaches nationally. Matthew recently returned from completing his post-graduate studies in the UK at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied with world-renowned tutors of saxophone, including Rob Buckland, Andy Scott, Carl Raven and Vincent David. Matthew has been awarded prizes from national music competitions including the UNISA Overseas Scholarship Competition, the UNISA National Wind Competition, the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition, and the ATKV Muziq National Music competition. Matthew actively commissions new works from South African composers through SAMRO, and is a promoter of this music in South Africa. As a performer, Matthew has a passion for South African music, and endeavours to introduce audiences to this music as often as possible. It is to this end that The Battle of the Saxes Tour will feature primarily South African works. Matthew is full-time saxophone teacher at Pretoria Boys High School, and is the saxophone lecturer at the University of Pretoria.

Free parking is available in Senate House; the entrance is on Jorissen Street, Braamfontein

PRODUCTION: Battle of the Saxes: Karendra Devroop (jazz saxophone) and Matthew Lombard (classical saxophone)

VENUE: Wits Theatre, East Campus, Braamfontein

SEASON: Saturday 18 April 2015 at 19:00

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes and no interval.


Full price = R80; discount price = R55 (students, pensioners and Wits staff). Tickets are available at the door. Full price = R85; discount price = R60 (students, pensioners and Wits staff).

ENQUIRIES: 011 717 1376 / 073 1212 112 /

For updates please visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here