Where to listen to live jazz in Joburg – a guide

03 Apr 2024

South African jazz is celebrated worldwide for its distinct take on one of the most celebrated music genres in the world. Defined by unusual time signatures and note progressions that are influenced by township funk and jive, South African jazz is almost immediately identifiable as being uniquely ours, says Bret Dugmore of one of Joburg's coolest record stores Mr Vinyl at 44 Stanley. Get a taste of Johannesburg’s Jazz Soundscape with his Spotify playlist.

Mr Vinyl at 44 Stanley
The large selection of new, pre-loved and limited-edition vinyl at the iconic Mr Vinyl in 44 Stanley.

Jazz in Johannesburg today is an exciting space of collaboration and diversity and finding a jazz evening or event is a highly recommended night out on the town. Saying that, it's not always a given that you will find a spot every night of the week to hear the sounds of jazz but we've given you plenty of recommendations below. Make sure to call ahead or check the latest updates on each venue's social media pages for the latest events. 

Equally, there is a strong jazz DJ culture in the city keeping the jazz scene alive with vinyl-only sets, with the likes of Mxolisi Makhubo, Vusi Hlatshwayo, DJ Bob, Charles Leonard, so give their accounts a follow on Instagram to see where they are playing next. 

Where to shop for Vinyl

For Jazz music shopping, it’s a little easier to find music on vinyl in Johannesburg nowadays than it is to find it on CD. Visit Mr Vinyl, Record Mad or Vinyl Junkie for jazz on vinyl. A visit to Microgram should yield jazz on CD. If you’re a cassette collector, ask at the counter of each store if they’ve got anything available – you might be surprised at what is stashed away in boxes under the shelves.

Where to listen to live jazz in Joburg

From laid-back neighbourhood favourite the Blind Tiger Café in Parkview, to the effortlessly cool underground music venue Untitled Basement bar in Braamfontein, to the grand dame of the live music and dining scene, The Marabi Club in Maboneng, here's our guide.

Jazz in Joburg gig guide 

Start by signing up for the Jazz in Joburg gig guideWanting to promote the local jazz scene and bridge the gap between performers and fans, jazz photographer Jonathon Rees started the Jazz in Joburg gig guide on Whatsapp. His aim was to build a central and accessible platform for sharing live jazz event information with like-minded jazz aficionados and casual fans alike. His motto is, "If it is live and jazz and in Joburg then I post it to the group." He gets the inside scoop from musicians, promoters, venues, and other social media groups and shares the information directly with members of the Whatsapp group. You can join the group by sending Jonathon a Whatsapp message at +27 76 185 1827.

Bertrand Cafe, Maboneng

This welcoming French café in Maboneng was inspired by the café culture found in the artsy Latin Quarter of Paris where its two genial French-Congolese owners lived before moving to Joburg. There's a basic French café menu, jazz on the stereo, good coffee and wine (the all-important Parisian essentials) plus plenty of tables on the pavement for enjoying Maboneng's colourful streetlife.  Their stage plays home to a number of live jazz performances; keep an eye on their Instagram account for up-to-date information. 

Blind Tiger Café, Parkview

The Blind Tiger Café in Parkview hosts a weekly Sunday Jazz in the Garden series.
The Blind Tiger Café, located along Parkview's high street, Tyrone Avenue, appears reminiscent of an old-school speakeasy at first glance. But the laid-back atmosphere inside and spacious beer garden out back are welcoming and hugely popular among neighbourhood locals. They run a weekly Sunday Jazz in the Garden series with a rotating lineup of live jazz performers and jazz DJs sets, sweetening the deal with discounted rates on drinks. Usually Sundays from 12:00 to 18:00 (Check their Instagram for more information and WhatsApp +27 76 030 4200 to book a table in advance). 

chiesa di PAZZO LUPi, Melville

This may be a welcoming shared office and event space in Melville for entrepreneurs, self-starters, independents, and freelance professionals who want to stay networked but it also doubles a venue for performances with a cute coffee shop and an array of services on the property.  Keep an eye on their Instagram or Facebook pages for details of upcoming performances.

Kings Kraal, Bryanston

Kings Kraal is a jazz and live music venue in Bryanston where you can expect to be served traditional African food.  Follow them on Instagram for news on their Wednesday comedy nights, Sunday lunches, and upcoming live music events. No under 21s and bokings are essential.

Mix Cocktail Bar, Rosebank

The elegant Mix Cocktail Bar located at the member's club Mesh in Keyes Art Mile.
On alternate Wednesday nights at the swanky Mix Cocktail Bar you'll find Jazz Club Sessions with the Kopano Jazz Collective from 19:00 until late. Part of the slick members club Mesh, located on the second floor of the Trumpet building at Keyes Art Mile in Rosebank, Mix is accessible and inclusive, yet feels elevated. Bring along friends and enjoy fresh cocktails, delicious food and a soulful music connection in this art-filled space, especially beautiful for sundowners. Check their instagram for next performances. These are usually on Wednesdays from 19:00. Entrance is free, although booking is essential at

The Marabi Club, Maboneng

The lively scene at The Marabi Club in Maboneng.
An evening spent at The Marabi Club in Maboneng is a must. Between the lively atmosphere, fine dining menu, slick service from jauntily dressed wait staff, interiors that conjure Joburg in an earlier age and a moodily-lit stage on which a jazz band plays every night, the scene at The Marabi Club is in a class of its own. Open Thu, Fri and Sat from 18:30. Booking is essential.

Untitled Basement, Braamfontein

Located in the basement of The Artivist bar and restaurant in Braamfontein is another separate cocktail bar and events space, The Untitled Basement, used for private parties and speciality concerts curated by The Artivist's owners, DJs Kenzhero and Bradley Williams. Follow their Instagram page for more information on the latest shows, from DJ sets and live performances that span genres including jazz, to comedy specials and even jam sessions. Dates and times for select events vary and tickets are usually available for purchase online in advance and at the door.

Six Cocktail Bar, Melville

Celebrated trumpeter, composer and bandleader Marcus Wyatt hosts regular jam sessions at Six on Wednesdays from 20:00. To book call +27 83 623 7950.

The Jazz Room at Doppio Zero, Rosebank

The Doppio Zero Rosebank location opened the doors to its own dedicated live music space in February 2021, The Jazz Room, where they host a series of live music performances every week. Each month they release a fresh line-up of jazz shows featuring different artists. Fridays from 18:30 to 21:30. Tickets can be purchased in advance on TIXSA.

Niki's Oasis Restaurant and Jazz Bar, Newtown

Niki's Oasis Restaurant and Jazz Bar is a longstanding jazz lounge and restaurant in Newtown, located directly across from the Market Square Theatre. Niki's is the go-to spot for catching new and up-and-coming local jazz artists, especially during their regular Jazzy Nights at Niki's live music events series. Follow their Instagram page for news and event information. Jazzy Nights take place on Fridays and a ticket fee applies. For reservations, contact +27 67 881 3054.

eDikeni Sandton

This Sandton restaurant launched just as the world went into lockdown in March 2020 – and through that baptism of fire, has survived and thrived. Check out their Instagram page to find out about gigs, or call them on +27 10 226 9656 and email them at

Riboville Boutique Hotel, Midrand

Live music at the Riboville Boutique Hotel in Midrand.
Turn slightly further afield to Midrand and look no further than the Riboville Boutique Hotel for live music, with the luxury of more outdoor space. The boutique hotel located on a spacious equestrian estate started hosting live music events on the weekends and Sundays are for jazz and soul. Follow their Instagram account for announcements about upcoming shows. Fri, Sat and Sun afternoons. Booking in advance is essential, contact or +27-(0)11-234-2456.

Sanctuary Mandela Jazz Sundays, Houghton

Every Sun afternoon from 12:00 – 15:00 the boutique hotel in Houghton, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1994 to 1999, becomes a playground for sophisticates when it opens its doors for lively jazz events at its Insights restaurant. Ticket options include R300 for music and a glass of bubbles to enjoy the show while seated at the bar, or R600 for an additional seated three-course meal from their menu inspired by Madiba's favourite dishes. Different jazz artists take to the stage every week and the menus change seasonally.  Keep an eye on the hotel's social media channels for details of upcoming shows. Read our review here.

Related Events

Every Sunday 12:00–15:00
Jazz Sundays at Sanctuary Mandela


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