People of Joburg

Get to know Kirstin Walters from Jerry and the Bandits

Dec 29, 2019, Author: Amber Richardson

Kirstin Walters is the saxophonist for one of South Africa’s best loved Indie-Folk bands, Jerry and the Bandits. From playing some of the biggest festivals in SA like OppikoppiSplashy Fen and Lush to almost every other music venue you can think of, the band has gained a major following since their inception in 2013. We chatted to Kirsten what she’s learnt and what it’s like to be the only female in the band. 


Facebook: @jerryandthebandits 

Instagram: @kirst.sax 

How did you join the band?  

I was studying music at Wits with Geraint Boje (the bassist), and he and Jerry (the lead singer) were looking for someone to join their band when they were selected to go through to the next level of a battle of the bands. Initially they wanted a trumpet player, but I was the next best thing.  

What’s your favourite thing about being in a band? 

Definitely being able to travel. We’ve been to some weird and wonderful places I didn’t even know existed. We’d love to do an overseas tour one day, but it’s not about making it big for us – it’s about playing and spreading the music. 

What’s the biggest lesson music has taught you? 

The weird thing about music is that it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and it’s weird that I’m so attracted to it because it doesn’t really go with my personality. I’m not an extrovert, I don’t want to be in the limelight, I don’t want to be on stage … but I just love music so much. Another thing I’ve learned about performing is to never wear a short dress on a windy day. Obviously when you’re playing saxophone, you can’t hold your dress, and my dress has blown up a few times! 


What’s it like being the only female? 

I enjoy it. I don’t mind being around guys – they’re interesting I actually feel like I’m their mom most of the time. They can be like little kids and I have to tell them to be more professional. 

Who’ve been your favourite musicians to perform with? 

We recently played a show with Jeremy Loops, which was awesome. We also love working with George Town and Bad Peter. 

What are you currently working on? 

We’ve recently released a cover of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac and will be releasing two original songs towards the end of this year. On a personal note I’ve really been pushing my solo stuff and have been playing at corporate events and with DJs. 


Other than music what do you do for fun? 

Plants! I love growing my own vegetables and gardening – that’s what I do on weekends. It’s so peaceful it just makes you feel good, you know? 

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