Live music is part and parcel of everyday South African life, providing a glimpse into the soul of the country through a huge diversity of musical genres ranging from African traditional music and jazz to rock and hip-hop - all of which can be heard at the country's many live music venues.

Did you know?

South Africa is world famous for its jazz musicians such as Hugh Masekela.

South African live music venues play host to an awesome variety of homegrown talent, from international legends such as Pops Mohammed and Abdullah Ibrahim to up-and-coming stars like Simphiwe Dana and electro-band Goldfish.

Live music is part of everyday South African life and because the country features such a range of cultures and races, there is a huge range of musical genres and styles ranging from traditional gospel and jazz through to pop and popular local music forms like Kwaito, Kwela and Afro-Pop.

As a result there are live music venues in nearly every centre in South Africa, showcasing talent both local and international.

Well known venues such as The Bassline in Johannesburg, The Green Dolphin and Manenbergs in Cape Town, Tings ‘n Times in Pretoria and The Dockyard Supper Theatre and Zulu Jazz Lounge in Durban have emerged as legends in their own right. These music venues provide access to South African culture in the immediate and experiential nature of musical events: vibrant and happening in the moment.

In South African live music clubs you can expect to hear a diversity of sounds on any given night, and it is advisable to check on line-ups before attending to ascertain what kind of show will be on. Cover charges also vary and some venues are also restaurants, while others are not.

Visitors will also discover that live music venues differ greatly from city to city, each reflecting the tone and attitude of that city and featuring many local musicians with sounds and styles indigenous to that area. The local regional newspaper is the best place to check for listings.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

The Bassline
10 Henry Nxumalo Street
Tel: +27 (0)11 838-9142/5/6

Tings n' Times
1065 Arcadia Street,
Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)12 430-3176/7

The Green Dolphin
Victoria and Albert Arcade
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 421-7471

Manenberg's Jazz Cafe
Clock Tower, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
Tel: +27 (0)21 421-5639

Dockyard Supper Theatre
Shop 221 Musgrave Centre
115 Musgrave Road

Zulu Jazz Lounge
231 Anton Lembede St.
Durban CBD
Tel: +27 (0)31 304-2373

Related Articles