Although summer festival season has come to an end, there are still plenty of opportunities for live music junkies to get their fix. Whether it’s inside a cosy restaurant or on top of a vibey rooftop, from classical music and jazz to live DJs and a full-blown festival with a stellar line-up from all over the African continent, Christine Hogg has lined up some options.
Born out of Social on Main in Bryanston, Social Parkwood is a new, “casually cool” neighbourhood bar and restaurant on Park Corner. Their line-up places a large emphasis on home-grown music, with DJs every Friday and Saturday night, as well as live music every Sunday. To honour South Africa’s heritage and “sensory spirit”, the venue embraces an Afrocentric theme, with South African-inspired dishes, local music, contemporary African design and vivid Dbongz murals. Creatives who have influenced the space are, for instance: Kieran Whyte, a Capetonian culinary force, who is responsible for the menu and Nkuli Nhleko of Imbewu Design, a contemporary South African designer, who has worked on the interior. According to the owners, “The originality of our South African shebeen culture has influenced us to remain authentically ourselves, whilst having the strength to be brave and bold in becoming a sassier Social, yet still the Social that you know and love.”
Address: Corner Bolton Road and Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Rosebank
“It’s time to celebrate Africa the way we know best,” say the organisers of Bassline Fest. PARTY! Bassline is celebrating 25 years of “In Music We Trust” on Africa Day, 25 May, at Constitution Hill. After closing their venue in Newtown, Bassline is focusing on a “mobile live music offering”. This year’s festival features twelve esteemed entertainers from all over the African continent, such as Dobet Gnahore from Ivory Coast, Buhlebendalo (from The Soil) from South Africa, Granmah from Mozambique, as well as Nigerian superstar-headliners ASA and Mr Eazi. Beyond culture and diversity, synchronicity is a theme, meaning some of the artists have previously collaborated with each other. Bassline Fest will be cashless and Soweto Locrate Market will provide food and drinks, as well as host talented artists, designers, chefs, and crafters. Tickets can be bought via bassline.co.za, priced at R350, Golden Circle at R450 and R150 for children under 12 years old.
Location: Constitution Hill, Braamfontein
Rooftop BBQ is set atop a building in the heart of vibey Maboneng, recently rated among the 12 coolest neighborhoods in the world by Forbes Magazine. Featuring regular local live DJs, their aim is to fuse “expertly curated food, funky music, people and panoramic views to create a funky, classy and fun-filled experience.”
Address: Citilec Building Rooftop, 246 Main Street, Maboneng
SOPHIATOWN JAZZ ENCOUNTERS
Sophiatown in the Mix Heritage Centre is a cultural organisation located in Joburg’s historic Sophiatown. To honour some of South Africa’s renowned artists, and make sure their music is not forgotten, regular jazz gigs are held at the venue, either in the form of a tribute show, collaborations or artists performing original compositions. For instance, in the past their line-up has included singer, songwriter and local legend Mama Dorothy or a cross-cultural pairing of South African saxophonist McCoy Mrubata and American guitarist Gary Wittner. Visit their website to find out who is performing next.
Address: 71 Toby Street, Sophiatown
JPO WINTER SYMPHONY SEASON
The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra performs regular Symphony Seasons, presenting acclaimed international as well as local soloists and conductors. Taking place between 22 May and 13 June, this year’s winter season features conductors and musicians from all over the world, including Japanese conductor Yasuo Shinozaki, Netherlands-born conductor Arjan Tien and Munich-based Korean violinist Ye-Eun Choi. Some of the works that will be performed are ‘Surprise Symphony’ by Franz Joseph Haydn, Piano Concerto No. 2 in g minor by Camille Saint-Saëns and an important JPO debut performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto by Alexander Ramm.