Jazzing it up in Jozi

Sorely need additions to Joburg’s jazz scene

Life-size bronze sculpture of Kippie Moeketsi by Guy du Toit and Egan Tania outside the old Kippies. An empty sculpted chair encourages the viewer to sit next to bra Kippie, represented as a lone, lonely and alone musician
Life-size bronze sculpture of Kippie Moeketsi by Guy du Toit and Egon Tania outside the old Kippies.

Jazzlovers bemoan the demise of many of Jozi’s well-known jazz venues such as Kippies and the Blues Room, amongst others. However, good news is that Aymeric Peguillan who was so central to the live jazz scene in the ‘80s and ‘90s, has leased the former Narina Trogon restaurant in Braamfontein, which offers a downstairs restaurant with a small stage and a larger upstairs performance space.

And more good news for the jazz lovers is that the Market Theatre is also planning to bring back more jazz to Joburg’s musical menu. Market Theatre CEO Annabell Lebethe has looked at various spaces that could accommodate a jazz venue. It seems there are now plans to create a bar that wraps around from the former Gramadoelas restaurant into the existing Market Theatre foyer.


In this way there is the potential to reactivate a Kippies in the Market space. The Market Theatre has bought most of the block a opposite the theatre on the other side of Bree St to house new theatre and photo workshops. She feels that this student population, along with those who will work in and visit the new Newtown Junction mixed-use development, will help to guarantee people to sustain the jazz club. So hopefully this will revitalize the Jozi’s jazz scene and will offer musicians a wider choice of venues so enabling them to work for a season, rather than one or two nights.

We will all be winners.


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