It’s a proven fact, you can never have too much sax

On 28 and 29 May, saxophonists and music lovers are invited to the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts for a weekend of music-making and concerts at the inaugural WAAPA Sax Festival.

The instrument that features in the best jazz recordings, and any decent 80’s power ballad is going to be the centre of attention at this special event.

Celebrating 10 years of the Massed Sax Project, the WAAPA Sax Festival at WAAPA offers two free afternoons of collaborative music-making for sax players of all ages, culminating in two special saxophone concerts.

The free afternoon performances and workshops are open to anyone who has been playing the saxophone for 2 years or more. The only one of its kind in Australia, this event brings together saxophone players of all ages – from school students to saxophone enthusiasts from the wider community.

Participants will play crazy-fun music and check out the latest in saxophones from the big sax brands. They’ll also get to rehearse with and learn from a trio of saxophone maestros: WAAPA lecturers Matt Styles and Jamie Oehlers, with special guest artist, the internationally acclaimed saxophonist Michael Duke.

Originally from Melbourne, Duke has enjoyed an extensive performance career both in Australia and abroad. He undertook postgraduate studies at Indiana University and Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music before becoming the first ever full-time classical saxophone lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Following the afternoon sax sessions, the Richard Gill Auditorium will come alive in the evenings with the magnificent sounds of saxophones en masse.

The Sax Festival Gala Concert on Saturday 28 May at 7pm showcases the outstanding talents of WAAPA’s saxophone staff and students, with an exclusive featured performance by star saxophonist, Michael Duke. Matt Styles and Jamie Oehlers lead student ensembles The ‘Phone Co. and the mighty WAAPA Sax Studio in a masterclass of musicianship.

Then on Sunday 29 May, the Massed Sax Orchestra takes to the stage with Matt Styles, Jamie Oehlers and The ‘Phone Co. for a powerhouse performance of jazz, classical, contemporary and world music. This unique concert celebrates the power, versatility and sheer joy that only the saxophone can bring.

Whether you’re signing up to perform or prefer to sit back and enjoy the talent on display, don’t miss this fabulous weekend celebrating all things ‘saxophone’!

For all the details head to

OIP Staff, Photo by: Stephen Heath Photography: Note OUTinPerth co-editor Graeme Watson is an employee of Edith Cowan University. 

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