There’s a new kid on the block, and he’s about to blow you all away. Literally. With a single breath of air, he transforms oxygen into beautiful melodies. However, hard work and an understanding of the tough reality of the music industry keep Andrew Hoole quite humble. Big things are certain to come to this jazz saxophonist.

Half sitting, half standing against a stool in the middle of Café Sofia in Claremont, Hoole leans into his saxophone for a solo, clearly relying more on his partner playing the electric keyboard set up next to him than on his own sheet music in front of him. The two play together so well that you can tell they’ve rehearsed this set multiple times before. It becomes especially obvious as Hoole reaches down to add a third hand to the keyboard. What many people, like the patrons of the restaurant who seem mostly there for drinks and a bite to eat, may not realize is that he shifted from reading his own music in a treble clef to reading the bass line of they keyboard’s music in bass clef like it was nothing. To practiced musician Andrew Hoole, it really was nothing.

When asked when his interest in music started, Hoole laughs and puts it at about age two or three. “I was sitting on a counter at a shop somewhere up in Joburg, singing away as my mom paid for whatever it was we’d come to pick up. A gentleman, apparently a music teacher, walks up to us, and tells my mom that I am destined to become a musician one day.” Apparently the man knew talent when he saw it, because two decades later Hoole is exactly that. His actual musical education started rather early, with him joining the junior choir and piano lessons in grade two. Soon after that he picked up the recorder, every young student’s introductory instrument, and from that made his way on to the clarinet and then saxophone. When asked why he decided to go into a career in music, he discusses the thought process behind it, saying “It all boiled down to the fact that I couldn’t see myself doing anything that didn’t involve music. I was quite good at maths and science and my other subjects, but music was just the one that I enjoyed to the extent that I couldn’t give it up.”

Giving up certainly doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary. He chose to attend the University of Cape Town because of its music department and the reputation it has in jazz studies. It didn’t stop there though. After getting a Bachelors degree in Jazz Composition and Arrangement, he decided to continue with his education and is currently studying for a Masters degree in Music Composition. He claims networking to be vital to any aspiring musician, and is quite appreciative of the contacts he has made both in Cape Town and in Los Angeles, which he managed to make throughout his years as an undergraduate student.

If that weren’t enough, he is certainly keeping busy with his work outside the classroom. Besides his gig at Café Sofia, he also plays for weddings and other engagements as well. He also stays busy teaching private lessons on the saxophone and tutoring students in music theory. However his true passion remains in scoring film projects when he gets the opportunity.

Besides talent, it is apparent Hoole has something else that’s necessary to go far in this business- passion. He clearly loves his instrument and just making music, whether it’s for a fully packed wedding or just a few tables at Café Sofia. His optimistic attitude is sure to keep him going past rejections and set backs that the music industry is sure to bring. He admits to the industry being tough to break into, and adds “It’s not so much who you know, which is definitely important, but probably more who knows you.”