Since opening in 1994 in Melville, Bassline has risen to prominence as the ultimate live venue in which to experience South Africa's finest jazz and Afro-fusion sounds. Now located in Newtown, Bassline also offers poetry readings, impromptu funk jam sessions and a professional production house.
10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown, Johannesburg.
Tel: +27 (0)11 838 9142/5/6
Founded in 1981 in Durban, the jazz scene at the Rainbow Restaurant played an important role in the struggle against apartheid. It was a meeting place for activists and musicians and typified the relationship between jazz and the struggle. Today the restaurant in Pinetown still hosts regular jazz concerts and its famous Sunday afternoon sessions. Shop 6, 23 Stanfield Lane, Pinetown, Durban. Call +27 (0)31 702 9161 or visit http://therainbow.co.za.
3The Radium Beerhall
As the oldest surviving bar and grill in Johannesburg, the Radium Beerhall has a genuinely historic ambience. This is just as authentic as the food on the menu and the live jazz that makes the embossed tin ceiling vibrate. Check its website for the line-up. 282 Louis Botha Ave, Orange Grove, Johannesburg. Email: email@example.com, call +27 (0)11 728 3866 or visit www.theradium.co.za.
4The Soweto Hotel
One of the newer venues for South African jazz is the Jazz Maniacs restaurant in the Soweto Hotel. Try the delicious Jazz Maniacs burger or the chisa nyama skewers. Enjoy live jazz music, played by Soweto-based musicians 6 nights a week. Corner of Union Avenue and Main Road, at The Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication, Kliptown, Soweto. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, call +27 (0)11 527 7300 or visit www.sowetohotel.co.za.
5The South Africa State Theatre
Home to a wide range of cultural expressions, the State Theatre in Pretoria offers some of the most exciting jazz concerts in the country. Check the website for upcoming jazz nights, showcasing fresh sounds from South Africa’s best-known jazz maestros and from up and coming talent. 320 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Call +27 (0)12 392 4000 or visit www.statetheatre.co.za.
6Thuthuka Jazz Café
Owner Laura Ndukwana offers international visitors the chance to have a meal and mix with locals in Gugulethu township while enjoying South African jazz infused with traditional musical elements. Popular amongst Capetonians and tourists alike, the venue offers you an authentic taste of the local jazz scene. Gugulethu, Cape Town. Call +27 (0)82 979 5831.
7Sophiatown Bar Lounge
This bar lounge is themed around the classic jazz of Sophiatown in the 50s. It is set in the heart of Jozi’s cultural precinct, Newtown. The Sophiatown bar lounge's vibrant atmosphere is underpinned by its high sound quality. 1 Central Place, Corner of Jeppe and Henry Nxumalo, Newtown, Johannesburg. Call +27 (0)11 836 5999 or visit www.sophiatownbarlounge.co.za.
Every Sunday is Jazz Sunday in at this typically relaxed Melville restaurant. Wish! is a great place to meet friends, have a drink or a meal and listen to excellent local music. Corner of 7th Street and 2nd Avenue, Melville, Johannesburg. Call +27 (0)11 482 1162 or visit www.wishmelville.co.za.
The bistro at the Ascot boutique hotel is well known for its jazz evenings. Currently running every Thursday night from 20h00, the restaurant hosts high-quality local jazz musicians and ensembles that jam on into the night. 59 Grant Avenue, Norwood, Johannesburg. Call +27 (0)11 483 3371 or visit www.ascothotel.co.za.
Niki's Oasis in Newtown serves up live jazz on Saturday nights, along with South African favourites like oxtail, mogodu (tripe), potjiekos with pap, mngqusho (samp and beans) and dumplings. There are also grills, burgers and salads. Its comfy sofas and a roaring fireplace in winter gives it a relaxed vibe that goes down well with the jazz. Email: email@example.com or call +27 (0)11 492 1134.