Dmitri Jegels' Blog

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Manenberg’s Jazz Cafe

This page serves to keep the memory of Manenberg’s Jazz Café alive.

If you wish to contact me about this site or about assisting us in reviving the Manenberg’s Jazz Café, you may contact me at:

dmitri@manenbergsjazzcafe.com

The Home Page of the Manenberg’s Jazz Café website carried the following text (this was before our disasterous move to the shop next door):

Shop 102, Clock Tower Centre, V&A Waterfront
Cape Town, South Africa

Manenberg’s Jazz Café was founded in 1994 By Dmitri Jegels and Clarence Ford, along with two others. It was situated in Adderley Street, Cape Town, South Africa. It quickly became the foremost live music venue of the city, featuring South Africa’s top musicians like Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Bayete featuring Jabu Khanyile, Robbie Jansen – South Africa’s foremost exponent of Cape Jazz, Sankomota led by Frank Leepa, Tsepho Tshola (the Village Pope), Mahlatini and the Mahotela Queens, Zim Nqawana, the late Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, Sipho Gumede, Winston Mankunku , Cape Town’s own Diva affectionately known as Mama Kaap: Ncediwe Sylvia Mdunyelwa , Ringo Madlingozi and many others.

Visit http://www.music.org.za for more info on many of the artists that have performed at Manenberg’s Jazz Cafe over the years.

On any given night, people from all walks of life: Cabinet Ministers like Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel and Deputy Minister of Social Development Jean Benjamin, to business executives, members of the judiciary, journalists, celebrities like Denzel Washington and David Bowie, tourists and ordinary residents of Cape Town could be seen celebrating their common humanity through the form of the beautiful and vibrant music emanating from our uniquely African stage.

We also also catered for other forms of the arts: we allowed artists to exhibit their paintings and sculptures, comedians performed skits, a women’s movement had a once-a-month women-only artists’ evening, various dance groups held dance exhibitions, and the legendary James Mathews held poetry readings at the 1st Sunday in the month poet’s club at manenberg’s Jazz Cafe. See http://www.chico.mweb.co.za/mg/books/nov97/17nov-matthews.html for some wry comments from James Mathews.

It was a euphoric time, but not without its challenges, as South Africa was only then entering its first year of Democracy and the transformation which accompanied that. We closed our doors in late 1997. The initial founders (Dmitri and Clarence) found three investors who were keen on seeing the rebirth of Manenberg’s, and we reopened in the Clock Tower Centre, V&A Waterfront in March 2002.

Manenberg’s Jazz Cafe has returned in all its glory, once again establishing itself as the premier live jazz and African music venue in the city and the country, for that matter. Visiting artists have included Jonathan Butler and Spirogyra, and celebrity guests have included our very own African Queen: the late Brenda Fassie, Dionne Warwick and movie star Colin Farrel.

Colin proved to be the most down to earth, warm hearted, shining human being. We South Africans simply love the Irish for their sense of fair play and their zest for living, and Colin lived up to that reputation. He even joined us for a game of Klawerjas (a local card game similar to bridge) in the home of a friend in Belhar (in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town), and was up for a visit to Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township, but unfortunately his schedule was too tight. Colin, please drop us a line whenever you’re back in Town, the people of Langa are waiting!

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4 Responses to “Manenberg’s Jazz Cafe”

  1. Andrew Page said

    Hi Dmitri,
    I tried to send you an email to the address listed on this page, but it failed. Do you have an alternative email address?
    Kind Regards
    Andrew

  2. Allister said

    Hi, we’d like to go manenbergs tonight to celebrate our anniversay. I’d like to know what the cover charge is tonight and if there are any bands playing tonight.

    Thanks

  3. Brad said

    This blog has just settled an argument in Perth. We could not agree where the club actually was and I am glad to say as the only non capetonian I won! Great memories, great music, great vibe what times!!

    • dmitrijegels said

      Good on you Brad! Shame on the Capetonians, what this means is they’re due for a visit, only pity is Manenberg’s Jazz Café has been closed for a while now…

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