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Karen Devroop

South Africa

Karen Devroop was born in South Africa and completed his bachelors and masters degrees at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. While completing his masters degree he was a student of Dustan Cox (Mauriat artist) and performed extensively with the with some of South Africa’s leading jazz musicians including Melvin Peters, Feya Faku, Marc Duby and Johnny Mekoa. In 1998 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and departed for the US where he completed his doctorate at the University of North Texas.

Devroop has toured and performed extensively across the US and South Africa as a soloist and lead alto saxophonist with some of the leading big bands. He has performed with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Carroll Bailey Big Band and Carlos Washington’s Giant People Ensemble. In 2009 his quartet with legendary Philadelphia drummer Rob Henderson opened the Gretna Jazz festival alongside Cedar Walton. He has performed as a side stage act for Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott and appeared at several major festivals including the Virginia Arts Festival, Gretna Jazz Festival, North Texas Jazz Festival and Beach Street USA. His debut solo CD recording “Reminiscing” was released in 2009 and received airplay and rave reviews on all six continents in over 15 countries. Track four on the album peaked at number four on the charts in Spain before retreating.
In 2010, Devroop returned to South Africa to take up the position of Associate Professor and Director of the School of Music and Conservatory at North West University in Potchefstroom South Africa. At the school of music, he directs the university wind ensemble, jazz ensembles (big band and combo) and teaches coursework in jazz improvisation while holding down a studio full of saxophone students. In addition to his teaching and performing, he is actively engaged as a jazz clinician and conductor at conferences and festivals across the US and South Africa.


On the Scene with Karen Devroop