Johannesburg dominates the South African music scene, offering a much wider spectrum of sounds than Cape Town or Durban. Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times for gigs. Jo’burg is always discovering superb new jazz talent, but established artists to look out for include the gifted vocalist Simphiwe Dana, singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, Afro-fusion merchants Freshlyground and trumpeters Marcus Wyatt and Hugh Masakela. Newtown and a couple of venues in the northern suburbs are your best bets for live jazz. Indie acts worth catching live include indie-pop hotshots Desmond and the Tutus, Kid of Doom, Us Kids Know, Jo√£o Orrechia, Black Hotels and BLK JKS. Kwaito, the hugely popular township-house genre, is rarely performed live except at major concerts. You might hear some from hip-hop artists such as the excellent Hip-Hop Pantsula (HHP), Teargas, Skwatta Kamp or Pitch Black Afro. As for classical music, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra performs regularly at Linder Auditorium in the Wits University campus (entrance on St Andrews Rd) in Parktown (011 789 2733, A useful online gig guide is provided by, and tickets are usually available via

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