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Review of Australasian Saxophone Collective

Kelly Wright, former Director of Homegrown Events

What a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I found out about the gig last minute and thought ‘why not – I like saxophones!?’

It actually blew my mind; it was a masterclass in saxophonology (not sure if that’s a word but we’ll just go with that for now). Of the easygoing crowd of about 80 people, I’d say around half of them seemed like they either played saxophone or had a loved one who did, so it was fun to see so many in awe of what were obviously some of Australasia’s finest musicians. 

(They probably should have asked one of these more knowledgeable saxophone appreciates to write the review. 😊)

I couldn’t believe that four saxophones could sound like a whole orchestra. I also naively didn’t know there were different kinds of saxophones. Niels Bijl over from Melbourne was exceptional on the soprano saxophone (which sounds higher and doesn’t have the curved-up bit at the bottom) as was Cambridge’s Simon Brew. Simon played both the tenor and alto saxophone along with Tomomi Johnson, who is New Zealand’s Saxophone Association President. On the huskier baritone saxophone was Michael Jamieson from Auckland.

The range of music from classical to a native bird song composition to musical theatre was a testament to the obvious class of the quartet. They were all obviously enjoying the performance, and all took turns to explain the pieces they had bought to the set list. All four have been members of symphony orchestras in New Zealand and Australia and Niels from Melbourne made a special mention about just how lucky we are to have someone of Simon’s calibre in little old Cambridge – it certainly came across that we have a saxophone legend in our midst.

Thanks for bringing a bit of culture and class to my Sunday afternoon, Australasian Saxophone Collective, I really enjoyed it!