6 do-not-miss Jazz spots in Joburg

Posted by A on 3 September 2018

The jazz scene in Johannesburg is as diverse and eclectic as the characters in the city. Artists from across the continent move through Johannesburg, sharing their talent along the way. The programmes in Johannesburg’s jazz clubs are often fresh and unpredictable, as there is always an emerging voice and visiting artists to enthrall you.

These diverse artists often collaborate and the appreciative audience makes Joburg an ideal spot for both artists and music lovers.

‘The beauty about the jazz scene in Joburg, compared to other parts of the country, is that there are venues where artists can play their music and experiment with various themes and techniques with an appreciative audience,’ said Thandi Ntuli in an interview I conducted with her a while back.


1. The Orbit

The Orbit jazz club opened in 2014 and has been at the heart of a jazz revival in Johannesburg. Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Thandi Ntuli and Nduduzo Makhathini are regulars here. It’s a great space for getting the best of what Johannesburg has to offer in terms of jazz music. They have performances nightly and shows cost from R150. Their shows include Jazz and Science and Comedy and Jazz evenings. You can also order food at the venue. Book a table at least three days ahead of time.
Contact: 0113396645, theorbit.co.za

2. Niki’s Oasis

Located in Newtown, this melodic haunt has a chilled, old-school vibe and is one of the longest-running live-music venues in the city. It features artists from varied musical genres (Thandi Ntuli played here often when she first arrived in Jozi) and its stage has seen some heavyweight performers too, including Nduduzo Makhathi and Femi Koya. There is also food on offer and its location in Newtown’s cultural precinct puts it almost across the road from The Market Theatre – perfect if you want to catch a show before, or after, indulging in some music.
Contact: 0114921134, find it on Facebook.


3. Katzy’s Live

Located in Rosebank, Katzy’s hosts bands five nights a week and features a ‘Grillhouse Menu’. Entry is free from Mondays to Wednesdays; while the rest of the week it costs from R150. Make sure to look out for the programme to see who is performing and make a booking before arrival.
Contact: 0118803945, katzys.co.za

4. Winnie’s Soul & Jazz Restaurant

Winnie’s is located in Wendywood and has a cosy setup that offers live jazz and hosts poetry and comedy nights. It’s an understated spot that is definitely worth a try for any jazz or music lover. Entry from R100.
Contact: 0110294999, find it on Facebook.


5. The Marabi Club

The Marabi Club offers food and drinks accompanied by live jazz performances. Visible from the street only by the discreet black canopy above a small metal door in Doornfontein, the Marabi Club harks back to a vibrant history. Tucked into the basement of the boutique hotel, Hallmark House, The Marabi Club evokes a historical atmosphere through the many careful details of the club’s interior.
Contact: themarabiclub.com

6. Untitled Basement

Untitled Basement is probably Joburg’s best-kept secret. Located downstairs from the recently established eatery-cum-gallery, The Artist, Unreserved is a bar that offers, live music with top-rated artists through events that are carefully curated by the co-owner of The Artivist and renowned DJ, DJ Kenzhero. They’ve hosted the likes of Mpho Sebina and Zoe Modiga who are currently making waves with their melodies. The venue is mostly hired out for private functions, but the jazz performances which are open to the public, when there are special events, are announced on their social media channels.
Contact: Make sure to follow Untitled Basement on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates.

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