Since it first opened its doors two decades ago, the Bassline has been widely regarded as the best live music venue in Johannesburg. Their policy of promoting cross-cultural musical exchanges and nurturing new talent, whilst delivering crowd-pleasing performances, has kept this jazz club at the forefront of the local music scene.

Did you know?

The Bassline provides rehearsal and other facilities for performing artists.

The Bassline originally opened its doors in 1994 as a small live music venue in the bohemian Johannesburg suburb of Melville.

It quickly rose to prominence as the city's pre-eminent African jazz club before branching out to accommodate other genres of music and live performance, from poetry readings to impromptu jam sessions.

In 2001, the original Bassline closed down. In 2003, owner Brad Holmes took over the Newtown Music Hall, in the Newtown Cultural Precinct in downtown Johannesburg, and gradually transformed the much larger venue into an extended and improved version of the original Bassline.

Today, this Johannesburg live music venue has a purpose-built 1 000-seat auditorium along with a more intimate 150-seat venue, both boasting superb acoustics and state of the art sound and lighting equipment.

The Bassline regularly features popular international musicians performing alongside their local counterparts. During the annual Joy of Jazz Festival, held every August in venues throughout the Newtown Cultural Precinct, the line up of artists performing at the Bassline reads like a who's who of local and international jazz.

The Bassline has become an institution among Johannesburg's live jazz fans and attracts audiences as varied as the club's musical repertoire. It also remains a crucible for nurturing and promoting local music talent. Great South African musicians such as Vusi Mahlasela, Zim Ngqawana, Moses Molelekwa, Paul Hanmer and Jimmy Dludlu, to name but a few, started their illustrious careers here.

With its reputation for musical integrity, the Bassline has become a local jazz club legend and is one of the first places music lovers should visit when in Johannesburg.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

The Bassline
Tel: +27 (0) 11 838 9142/5/6

How to get here

The Bassline can be found in the Newtown Cultural Precinct in downtown Johannesburg. The area is easily accessible by car,taxi or bus, and there is plenty of parking available.

Best time to visit

The Bassline is open all year, generally in the evenings for live performances. See their website for specific performance information.

What will it cost

The cost of admission varies depending on who is performing. Expect to pay anything from R100 to R600 per ticket. See their website for specific performance information.

What to eat

The Bassline does not serve food, but there are several restaurants, open till the early hours of the morning, located on the adjacent Mary Fitzgerald Square.

What's happening

Don't miss the annual Joy of Jazz Festival, held every August in the Newtown Cultural Precinct. The Bassline is one of many Newtown venues that play host to this annual celebration of jazz.

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