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Karén Devroop

Karen Devroop webThe South African Jazz Songbook is a collection of 14 historical South African jazz compositions that have been arranged for saxophone, full orchestra, piano, bass and drums. The works include internationally recognized South African jazz compositions such as Ntjilo Ntjilo and Lakutshona iLanga and selected modern jazz compositions by some of South Africa’s leading jazz composers. The works were arranged by internationally recognized arrangers Trino Jimenez (Venezuela) who has orchestrated works for Broadway and orchestras internationally and well known South African arranger Noel Stockton. All works were handpicked by Karén Devroop who worked closely with the arrangers in order to ensure that the arrangements represented creative orchestral artworks that allowed for the elements of jazz such as improvisation and swing to be embedded within the orchestral setting. All works have a definitive South African rhythmic feel that is reminiscent of South African jazz that emanated from the townships over the past 80 years.

Karén Devroop is an internationally recognized saxophonist who has performed extensively across the USA, Europe, Asia and South Africa. He has performed at several major classical and jazz festivals most recently at the Virginia Arts Festival (USA), the 2016 Amersfoort Jazz Festival (Netherlands), the Samui International Latin and Jazz Festival (Thailand), Taipei International Music Expo (Taiwan), P Mauriat International Jazz Festival (Taiwan), Gretna Music Festival (USA), North Texas Jazz Festival (USA) and Beach Street USA. He has appeared as a lead alto saxophonist with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Marcus Wolfe Big Band and Carroll Bailey Big Band. He has also appeared as a side stage act to Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago, Jill Scott and Queen Latifah.
He has collaborated and performed with major national and international artists including Sibongile Khumalo (SA), Vicky Sampson (SA), Artvark Saxophone Quartet (Netherlands), Koh “Mr Saxman” (Thailand), Carlos Washington (USA), Peter Beets (Netherlands), Leonard Jacome (Venezuela), Mateo Mera (Uruguay) and most of South Africa’s leading jazz artists. He recently completed the national tour
of the Battle of the Saxes which included jazz and classical saxophone with string quartet and jazz rhythm section. He has several live and studio recordings to his credit.
Devroop premiered the South African Jazz Songbook with the Unisa Symphony Orchestra at the ZK Matthews Great Hall in May 2016. In addition to a CD recording of the project that is scheduled for later this year, he will be performing the works with orchestras across South Africa before taking the project abroad for performances with orchestras in Europe, USA and Asia.
In addition to a very active performing career, Devroop has been in demand as a guest conductor and jury member of several international music competitions. He is currently the Artistic Director of the Unisa International Music Competitions and is a Board member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions that is based in Geneva.
Karén Devroop is a P Mauriat Artist-Endorser and performs exclusively on P Mauriat (Paris) saxophones and Theo Wanne mouthpieces.

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