Where to Listen to Live Jazz in Cape Town

Image by Kloof Street House

Jazz in Cape Town is a celebrated form of social commentary and poetic expression. More than just music, it is the story of slavery and the struggle against apartheid. It is about history and salvation and exile and freedom. The Mother City boasts a variety of jazz clubs and events, including the much anticipated annual Cape Town Jazz Festival.

From the classic to the avant-garde, we have rounded up a list of great venues, bars and restaurants where you can peer into Cape Town’s past, tap your toes or swing to something smooth.


The Crypt Jazz

This one needs almost no introduction as it has jazz club legend status. The Crypt Jazz is Cape Town’s Premiere Live Jazz and Dinner Experience where patrons can enjoy some of the best live jazz Cape Town has to offer, six nights a week. Located in the historic St. George’s Cathedral (from where Archbishop Desmond Tutu Led the anti-apartheid peace march on 13 September 1989 with a following of about 30 000 Capetonians), is one of the original live jazz venues in the heart of the city.

Complete with a restaurant and cocktail bar, The Crypt offers patrons a truly unique “jazz theatre and dinner” experience. The Crypt offers every kind of performance from traditional Jazz bands to the most up-and-coming Jazz artists in the Cape. The line-up is varied to suit just about anyone’s tastes from night to night. Although it is first and foremost a Jazz bar, The Crypt does offer a dinner menu to accompany performances.

There is a cover charge of R150 and booking online is recommended.

Visit their website for more.



If you are looking for a combination of some of the best cocktails in the world and some of the best jazz in Cape Town, this is where you will find it. For over a decade, Asoka has been the gem of Kloof Street, a sensual experience where the music is intoxicating and the energy is palpable. Head to the petit palace on a Tuesday night to soak up live jazz from 8pm, with deeper house music beginning at 10 pm.

If you fancy a bite, get there earlier (6pm) and tuck into tasting plates. These have been designed around the 5 elements: Earth (vegetarian), Water (seafood), Wind (chicken and duck), Fire (meat) and Nirvana (dessert) which are all put together to offer a unique and varied taste experience with influences from international cuisines and cultures.

Visit their website for more.


The Piano Bar

New York meets Napier Street at this social hub in De Waterkant. The first official piano bar in the city, this social music lounge offers a soulful atmosphere with a bar-style menu. Soft jazz can be heard from the street, with exciting local musicians taking stage every evening.

The sophisticated watering hole shakes up some tasty cocktails and offers an interesting menu, based on travel, the season and the land. Craft beers and a selection of wines from known and lesser known wineries are also on offer. The music highlights the rich culture in Cape Town, based on Classic Jazz bars in Paris, Blues and Soul from the US, New York or Chicago.

Soak up the atmosphere from the baby grand in the corner, cozy up around the fireplace in winter, or head to the balcony to take in the views.

There is no cover charge; however, voluntary patrons may pay donations to support the musicians, which we are sure you would want to do after listening to their crooning tunes.

Visit their website for more.


Kloof Street House

We could think of no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to be listening to the smooth sounds of live jazz accompanied by amazing cocktails and a stunning meal prepared in what is certainly one of Cape Town’s best loved restaurants! Kloof Street House has long been famed for their winning combination of bistro fare, eclectic decor, and trendy vibe, popular with Cape Town’s trendiest set. While worthy of visiting any day of the week, Sunday is their dedicated Jazz day, so head down from 1 pm to the magical, partially covered, garden area and enjoy some smooth jazzy tunes.

Find a seat in the picturesque garden with some bubbly and unwind while listening to the musicians play on the veranda or squeeze into a spot at the quirky bar inside and enjoy the hum of the band along with your favourite cocktail and company.

There is no charge for the jazz, but you’d be expected to stay for drinks and a bite.

Visit their website for more.


The Art of Duplicity

Hidden in the ever so slightly less salubrious end of town, this place is our newest addition to the list. As secret a spot as you can find (the venue’s address is hidden and requires you to figure out a series of hints to get to the location), it is the place to go to connect with other jazz fans, while enjoying the underground speakeasy feel.

During Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, a live Jazz band plays at 9.30pm sharp. So order up one of their experimental cocktails, step back in time, and enjoy the whole bygone experience.

See their Facebook page for a glimpse inside.


Join Africa’s Grandest Gathering: The Cape Town Jazz Festival 2020

The Cape Town Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in sub-Saharan Africa, and it does not disappoint. The line-up is a great mix of hot up-and-coming musicians, local flavour and big international names.

This year, Africa’s Grandest Gathering turns 21 and is celebrating with reduced ticket prices and exciting live acts from Africa and around the globe!

The festival takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 27-28 March 2020.

Visit their website to see the star-studded line-up and purchase your tickets.


Cape Grace Best of the Best Promotion

Africa’s best music festivals, bucket-list matches and races, or conventions; Cape Town plays host to some of the world’s most exciting events.

Celebrate any one of these historic events with a stay at Cape Grace, receive a 15% discount off the nightly room rate and we will treat you to a complimentary 50-minute massage.

To complete the perfect experience, enjoy tapas on us at our iconic Bascule Bar poised on the edge of Cape Town’s most glamorous marina at the V&A Waterfront.

Promo code to be applied on event dates only: CGEVENTS

T’s and C’s apply. Visit the Cape Grace website for more.


Blog post by Tarah Darge


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Our blog serves as a guide and gateway for the luxury traveller. Through our well-informed concierge team, we provide our readers with up to date information on the finest restaurants and places to explore in and around the Mother City.
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