Jazz in the Mother City
We have a fine appreciation for Jazz and so do Capetonians! So of course we wanted to share the inner secrets of the Jazz world with you. Cape Town plays host to an annual Jazz Festival that has just wrapped up for the year… so here’s our favourite venues.
The Crypt Jazz Restaurant
This fantastic Jazz restaurant is based in the historic stone crypt located below Cape Town’s St. George’s Cathedral (hence the name). It is a very swanky joint that takes its cue from esteemed live music establishments in London and New York. This is arguably one of Cape Town’s most distinct jazz bars. Enjoy jazz by local and international musicians every Tuesday to Saturday (in fact, several members of the founding team are renowned SA jazz artists). The Crypt serves up a selection of tapas, starters, mains and desserts. Jazz performances are 7- 10pm Tuesdays to Thursdays and 8- 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. A cover charge applies.
This was the city’s first official piano bar and a great venue for both professional and up-and-coming musicians in the jazz, soul, funk and blues genres. A baby grand sits in the corner imbuing the place with a certain kind of decorum. But it’s more about a social and fun night out. The bar is known for its unbelievable cocktails and offers a wholesome menu complemented by easy listening. There is a fireplace in winter and food is Spanish tapas style served on the wraparound terrace or rooftop loft when the weather’s warmer. Music kicks off at 8pm nighly and there’s no cover charge. You can pay a nominal amount to support local musicians.
Straight No Chaser Jazz Club
Fantastic name, this place used to be the Mahogany Room. It is a very intimate club and long time, respected venue. ‘The acts on stage transcends genres and strives to give musicians a space where they can express themselves freely and provide audiences with a listening environment that’s all about the tunes. The club is serious about the sounds and there are two sets per night (cover is charged on a per set basis).’ Open Tuesday – Saturday and for this place, we highly recommend making a booking.
Tuesday is Asoka night, just ask the locals. It is a long standing Kloof Street lounge, restaurant and cocktail bar that has made its early weekday evening somewhat of an institution among the Mother City’s trendy after-dark crowd. There is an in house band that plays every Tuesday between 8.45pm and 10.30pm and they have a very African flavour with motuno rhythms. Free entry and space is limited so we always recommend you book at least a few days or week in advance. We can do it for you if you want to test it out during your Cape Town holiday.
Kloof Street House
It’s family friendly so you and the gang can settle into the beautiful garden surrounds and listen to smooth cool jazz. Lunch is also fabulous so you can dine whilst listening to the divine…
Sunday Jazz Brunch at Winchester Mansions
Another Sunday session is at Winchester Mansions down on the seaside. Here there’s jazz, sunshine and sea air. Food is a wonderful affair and the buffet table is regularly topped up to ensure you don’t miss out.
Cost is around 295 Rand per person and music kicks off at 11am, finishing up at 2pm. It’s a great way to spend a leisurely Sunday in the Mother City.
So we hope that gives you enough to go on if you are in search of Jazz in Cape Town.