Licensed to Play September 2014

Dear SAMRO Music Users,

As we celebrate our heritage and 20 years of democracy we should not forget what makes us unique as South Africans; our diversity and the rainbow nation of eclectic sounds and talents.

As part of our heritage month celebrations we review music festivals in South Africa, and music festival venues and spaces. We also speak to multi-talented composer, singer, and actor Amanda Strydom about what heritage means to her.

We review some of the country’s iconic jazz venues. Jazz has played a tremendous role in forming South African identity and paving the path for music creations such as Afro Jazz.

We went to Melville to find out more about Fete de La Musique and its impact and contribution to venue owners in the area as well as musicians.

We provide a list of upcoming events and hope you enjoy this edition of Licensed to Play. Please send information on upcoming events at your venue and we will publish. Be sure to submit information before the 7th of each month for the month ahead.

Send us your feedback, thoughts and comments, via Twitter @SAMROMusic, Facebook or email:

Happy spring and all the best!

Yours in music,

Tiyani Maluleke

GM Marketing: SAMRO


Fête de la Musique was launched in France in 1982, to give audiences and musicians an opportunity to communicate and provide a platform to celebrate music.

The popular street music festival is held on 21 June in Paris every year.  Celebrated in over one hundred cities around the world, it is no surprise that three years ago it also found a home in South Africa.

In South Africa, the festival is held in four cities: Port Elizabeth, at Richmond Hill, Durban, at the City Hall, Cape Town, at Alliance Française and Johannesburg on Melville’s 7th Avenue.

In its third year, Fête de la Musique   continues to be one of the most spectacular festivals of its kind in South Africa. The festival not only bring music fans and musicians together, it also plays a vital role in  bringing communities together and uplifting businesses around  the areas in which it takes place.

This year Melville’s 7th Street was turned into a pedestrian friendly zone for music fans to truly enjoy the live music performances in restaurants, bars and on various stages. With at least 10,000 people estimated to have attended the event including performers, the festival seems to have put the spotlight back on Melville.

Lindy Pretorius owner of Brauhaus and La Luna on 7th Avenue in Melville says the festival was a breath of fresh air because a lot of people had come to think of Melville as a dangerous area with drugs and crime on the streets.

“The festival has turned that around, as people now come to experience the music and what the festival has to offer. Patrons of the festival are beginning to appreciate and experience what the neighbourhood offers, from an entertainment and arts point of view,” she says.

Pretorius noted that if the festival could bring together so many people in winter, it would perform even better in spring as August and September are warm and very good months for business.

Melville business owners noted the following as some of the benefits of Fête de la Musique since it launched in South Africa three years ago:

•As the festival was founded by the French, it provides a great opportunity for French musicians and South African musicians to come together and perform.

•It is great for tourism because we get a lot of people travelling from France to come and experience Fête de la Musique in South Africa and across the various cities. It also attracts French nationals based in South Africa.


•It presents a great platform for musicians to showcase their talent to a diverse crowd with an interest in music.

•It helps boost business in Melville especially during the winter season, where business would ordinarily not be slow.

•It puts Melville venues on the map; as well as other South African venues that participate in the festival.


Although Fête de la Musique is mainly about music, this year’s festival also attracted diverse arts such as street art and street performance, kiddies’ activities such as face painting. The festival is organised by the French Institute of South Africa (IFSA) in partnership with the Melville Residents Association (MRA), the Melville Business Association (MBA) the Delegation Generale des Alliances Françaises (DGAF) and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg.

Talking about venue licensing, Pretorius noted that SAMRO plays a vital role in the licensing of music. However, she believes that more information needs to be provided to venue owners to ensure that they understand the value of licensing, and the obligation thereto.


Our interaction with venue owners in Melville revealed the need for deeper education on venue licensing, and we would like to call on ALL venue owners who have queries on venue licensing to contact SAMRO on 011 712 8363/73 or email: to provide feedback and advice on venue licensing.



Jazz music is alive and is played in many clubs throughout the country.

Historically, jazz began in shebeens, nightclubs, and various spots for popular gatherings. Today clubs such as Kippies, Katzy’s   and The Rainbow are some of the finest jazz clubs in South Africa.


Kippies International Jazz Club – Joburg

Kippies International Jazz Club is named after legendary saxophonist and jazz musician Kippie Moeketsi. He was one of SA’s best and a member of one of the first South African jazz bands, Jazz Epistles, launched in the 1950s.

Kippies closed in 2005 due to structural problems; but reopened in 2009.

Kippies was the home of seasoned musicians such as Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse who in an interview about the iconic club with Newtown Heritage Trail described it as is the hub of jazz music in Johannesburg. ”When you walk onto the stage at Kippies for your first set as an aspiring musician, you know you have made it,” he said.

Mabuse’s words sum up how the place managed to stay at the top of its game. It was home to some of the best musicians and the Mecca of jazz in Johannesburg.

The club was declared a heritage site in 2005 for its iconic contribution to jazz music.


Katzy’s – Rosebank 

Katyz’s offers jazz audiences a mature blend of great jazz music, good whisky, the most stylish dining and the perfect view of Jozi nightlife.

According to Lebo Ndlovu, Katy’s General Manager, as audiences evolve, venues must also evolve.

He said, “ In order to keep up with our audience needs, five years ago we extended Katzy’s  – thereby launching a new Katzy’s from the original venue which was launched in 1994.”

Ndlovu noted that, “Part of what makes a great jazz venue is the ability to evolve as audiences and performances evolve, and in this industry keeping with the time play a big part towards the sustainability of any venue, especially niche venues, such as jazz venues.”

After revamping five years ago, Katzy’s has been able to maintain their role as one of the best locally acclaimed jazz clubs. Ndlovu explained that one of the things that make Katzy’s such a great place for jazz musicians and audiences, is the combination of whisky and jazz music.

“Getting comfortable in this industry has seen a lot of venues go under,” said Ndlovu.

“We’ve made it our mission to give both musicians and audiences a great place to have a good time,” he added.

Katzy’s has hosted some of the greatest South African jazz musicians, such as Lira and Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse among others.

With over 20 years in the industry, the venue has a lot to celebrate.


Rainbow – KZN

Rainbow Restaurant in Durban is another jazz venue of distinction. It is one of South Africa’s longest running live music venues. It was launched in 1981 and originally owned by Ben Pretorius and Billy Mthembu, who were involved in South Africa’s political struggle. Its broad approach to music has seen the promotion of a unique genre of music that is an offshoot of Afro Jazz. With performances that include some indigenous sounds such as isicathamiya and mbaqanga, Rainbow has positioned itself as the home for Afro Jazz and Afro sounds in KwaZulu-Natal.


Tips on how to create a great jazz atmosphere

•Don’t allow a performance to be interrupted.

•Give audiences the opportunity to interact with performers and express their appreciation of the music.

•Offer something unique in order to stand out

•Passion is everything.

•Satisfy the needs of both audience and performers.


The annual Standard Bank Joy of Jazz has established itself as South Africa’s Premier Jazz event drawing musical talent from across the globe.

This year’s line-up featured international musical greats such as Dianne Reeves, Billy Ocean, Ann Callaway Hampton and Dwele to name just few.

As always, there was a generous supply of our own home grown talent. This included South African jazz legends Jonas Gwangwa and Sibongile Khumalo.   Running from September 20 to 27, the festival set the scene for a fitting tribute to mark Khumalo’s birthday which coincides with Heritage Day on September 24. Khumalo celebrated the occasion with a special onetime only performance on September 20 at the Teatro at Montecasino.  Joining her on stage were Sipho Mabuse, Kabomo Vilakazi and Mimi Mthenjwa.

Over her illustrious career Khumalo has earned the honour of being called South Africa’s First Lady of Song.  Trained in a range of musical styles including opera, musical theatre and jazz, Sibongile has carved a niche for herself both locally and abroad.  She has effortlessly infused African influences with classical Western styles to create the unique signature sound that she has become so well known for.

Khumalo’s long list of achievements includes having been requested to perform at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as well as his 75th birthday celebration at the royal Albert Hall. She has being bestowed the honour of leading performances of both the South African and New Zealand national anthems at the 19995 Rugby World Cup  in New Zealand.

She has penned a number of albums starting with her debut release Ancient Evenings. This was followed by the SAMA award winning Quest and Live at the Market Theatre as well as her latest release, the self-titled Sibongile Khumalo. Khumalo is a consummate musician who not only performs but is also a prolific songwriter, producer and valued SAMRO member.



Afrikaans poet, singer and actress Amanda Strydom spoke to SAMRO about what heritage means for her as a musician in South Africa

Q: Music is a big part of the South African heritage, what do you think makes South African music stand out?

A: I think it’s our uniqueness. In South Africa we have eleven official languages. That on its own makes our music unique and stand out.

Q: What does music and heritage mean for you?

A: I cannot imagine my life without music. Over the years we have inherited a rich treasure chest of music in our country; diverse, enormous and unique. Heritage should be respected and celebrated especially through music, given our diversity.

Q: How would you define or describe your music?

A: I am a poet/singer/actress. I write about ordinary things and issues that affect us all. I am not a commercial musician and I am immensely grateful that I have survived in this industry for 36 years without selling my soul.

Q: What does Heritage Day / Heritage Month mean for you as a musician?

A: I remember performing in the Royal Carré Theatre in Amsterdam a few years ago to celebrate South Africa’s Heritage Day. I shared the stage with Freshly Ground and Tina Schouw.  Nick Rabinowitz was the MC. The theatre was packed to the rafters with expats from all over. It felt like my heart was going to burst with pride when we heard the rapturous applause during and after songs. People were singing along, screaming and cheering. They were cheering for their heritage and we gave it a voice. I will never forget that night. It’s wonderful that we can celebrate our heritage, even in troubled times we find ourselves and comfort in music.

Q: Do you feel that the South African music captures our diverse heritage? 

A: Yes it does. We have such a diverse range of music from all the different cultural groups in our country. I just wish that there was the same support for the arts in our country that sport is given. There are so many struggling, brilliant musicians in our country that just don’t get a break. It’s always a question of a lack of financial support, but we have a lot of talent, and representation.

Q: What are some of the noteworthy changes that you have seen in Afrikaans music in the last 20 years? 

A: It has been quite a journey. I love the original musicians, the poets who weave this beautiful language with music that touches the heart. There is a huge commercial side to Afrikaans music, but I prefer the musicians who chose the road less travelled. Afrikaans music took a turn for the better when musicians like Anton Goosen, David Kramer, Koos Kombuis, Johannes Kerkorrel, Karen Zoid, Valiant Swart, Fokkof Polisiekar and the likes started rocking in a language people thought was not possible to rock in. They also shed light on injustices. The same goes for our great poet/songwriters like the late Koos du Plessis, Gert Vlok Nel, Chris Torr, Coenie de Villiers, Lize Beekman and countless others. There is much more to Afrikaans music than “sakkie-sakkie” and “doef-doef” music!

Q: Twenty years from now, what would you like so see in South African music?

A: In 20 years’ time, God willing, I will be 78. I hope that when I switch the radio on I will still hear original South African music. I hope that our musicians will still be breaking new ground and playing their music on world stages.  I would like to see respect and support for musicians, songwriters, singers from our government. Music will never die. Musicians, singers, songwriters who die, live on through the music they created. That is our beautiful musical heritage.


SAMRO recently developed a video that is intended to inform music users how licensing works.

Do you or your business play music in public? If so, that makes you a Music User!

Music Users who play music in the course of doing business need to pay licence fees. That means anything that isn’t personal use. This includes businesses like pubs, mobile DJ’s, clubs, restaurants, shopping malls, live music venues and places like wedding venues. It also extends to broadcasters such as radio and TV stations who also play music publically.

We don’t make the rules. It’s all laid out in the Copyright Act and it’s part of South African law. If the music you play isn’t written, created, performed and recorded by you, it belongs to the Music Creator and you need a licence.

SAMRO helps Music Creators by licensing their works and collecting licence fees from Music Users, that’s you! The fees differ depending on what you use the music for. But SAMRO also looks after your needs as a Music User by ensuring that there’s a healthy music industry constantly creating the music that is adding life to your business.

SAMRO recently developed a video that is intended to inform music users how licensing works. To view the informative video about how licensing works, please click  here

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