Carla Stokes is a professional saxophonist, session musician, music producer, and music educator. She was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music. In 2018 she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance (majoring in tenor saxophone). In 2019 she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Music (UCT).
Carla’s musical journey started with training in classical clarinet from age eight, piano at age twelve, and tenor saxophone at age thirteen. She has been gigging since age fifteen and has performed in various bands in and around Cape Town, to name a few: The UCT Big Band, The Lady Day Big Band, The UCT Alumni Big Band, The Mike Campbell Big Band, Los Tacos, Melorie Jane Quintet, CODA Africa (Red Cello), and Crimson House. These include traditional big bands, combo jazz bands, rock and pop bands, solo saxophone, as well as performing on saxophone alongside DJs.
Carla has performed in countless band settings and has immersed herself in various styles of music. In 2019 she performed at The Cape Town International Jazz Festival as tenor saxophone one in the Lady Day Big Band, and in 2017 and 2018 performed at the Standard Bank National Jazz Festival in the UCT Big Band. In 2020, Carla taught herself Ableton Live and basic music production and has since released three original singles. Carla's self-produced original music is available on all streaming platforms and has influences of jazz saxophone fused with electronic styles of music. She hopes to give you a little sonic escape from the pressures of daily life, if only for a couple of minutes and hopes you'll leave feeling uplifted.
Today Carla actively performs at many corporate functions, weddings and other events as a solo saxophonist and bandleader. She also features as a saxophonist in various other bands. She has performed alongside electric cellist Carol Thorns (from Red Cello Productions) at events at prestigious locations in and around Cape Town. i.e. The Zeitz Mocaa Museum, The CTICC, Century City Conference Centre and Grande Provence Wine Estate. Carla has performed at many corporate events as a solo saxophonist, most notably performing for Porsche South Africa in 2022. Carla has performed at a number of weddings and public events at some of Cape Town’s most beautiful venues such as The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, The V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre, Harrington’s Cocktail Lounge, Hotel Sky, The Grand Beach Cafe, Constantia Glen Wine Estate, Mirage Yachts, among countless others.