Celebrating Jazz: Joburg’s many venues

Jozi is buzzing with preparations for the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival taking place 27 to 29 September 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre. Visit their website to see the impressive line-up of artists including the The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Star Band and Thandi Ntuli, this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz.

This event highlights Jozi’s music scene, making us realise again how fortunate we are to have so many hip and happening music venues. You will find funky bohemian style bars, upmarket jazz clubs, extraordinary rooftop venues and outdoor parks catering to large concerts.

Here are some of our favourites:

The Orbit is undoubtedly our most upmarket and stylish jazz club. Situated in trendy Braamfontein,  it is known internationally. Here you can book a table, decide to dress up and enjoy the night with magnificent music surrounded by an elegant ambience. There is a restaurant downstairs and a courtyard area for lazy Sunday lunches.

On 26 September at 8pm, the New York Round Midnight Orchestra will be performing. Bookings are essential.

Katzy’s is in Rosebank, in The Firs, near the Park Hyatt Hotel. It is a cigar lounge, music, dining and entertainment venue, and they host local and international music celebrities. You will find live music here at least four times a week. They have a grill house menu, cocktail and cigar list and it is an easy place to meet new people.

Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels will be performing at Katzy’s on Thursday, 27 September.

The Radium Beer Hall is filled with history. It is the oldest surviving bar in Johannesburg, in the neighbourhood of Orange Grove and has a regular and strong following. It has always been ‘famously’ known as a bit of a dive, which it is, in a very popular way! The walls are covered in photographs of all the great jazzmen who have performed there. The dining area has a small dance floor and there is live music four times a week.  Note that you cannot pre-book so get there in good time to get a great table.

There is jazz music at The Radium on the first Sunday of every month – the longest running jazz show in Johannesburg! Families are welcome.

Roving Bantu Kitchen & Treks in Brixton has become extremely popular these past few years. Nothing describes the place more eloquently than this lovely recommendation on their Facebook page: “Without a doubt, this is Johannesburg’s most authentic African eating place. It is cozy, lovely and beautiful. Uncle Sifiso is such a down to earth simple and pleasant host. I recommend this spot for those seeking a true, rich and sweet taste of Africa’s music, food and a magical African atmosphere”. Their jazz acts are normally on a Friday and Saturday night. The Radio Bantu Live stage also hosts poets and standup comedians.

The talented Thandi Ntuli performed at the Roving Bantu Kitchen’s Jazz Sunday on 16 September, together with Saxophonist, Benedikt Reising from Switzerland.

There are many more venues and events not covered in this blog posts. So, remember to ask your Johannesburg Guesthouse owner for recommendations or to make a booking for you. They will be happy to assist.