An Anglican Cathedral may seem like an unlikely spot for an evening of jazz, but that’s exactly what you’ll get when you head for the crypt on almost any night of the week.
Built in 1898, St George’s Cathedral was once a bastion of the anti-apartheid struggle and is the oldest of its kind in South Africa, a national landmark and home to one of the country’s only labyrinths.
Located in the heart of the city adjacent to parliament and alongside the Company’s Garden, it was from this pulpit that Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressed the beleaguered nation just months before Nelson Mandela’s release from Robben Island.
Today, the crypt is part of the Memorial and Witness centre named in honour of Desmond Tutu which commemorates the historic protest march of 1989 which set off from here. Since early days, St George’s sought to appeal to all of Cape Town’s people with a black Christ depicted among the stained-glass artworks found here. Nowadays, this appeal continues by reaching out with the universal language of music.
The Dean of the St George’s Cathedral, Michael Weeder, is himself an avid jazz enthusiast. Together with acclaimed self-taught pianist Derek Blaise, Weeder is responsible for setting up the Crypt – which offers a simple celebration of classic jazz in an inviting atmosphere.
Blaise is well-known in the Franschhoek community for founding the National Cheese Festival and for his Friday Jazz nights at the La Fromagerie Restaurant at La Grange. Here, some of South Africa’s finest cheeses are always on the menu, together with music from a collection of top jazz musicians, including his own band, the Cape Dutch Connection.
Jazz and Cheese
The Crypt follows the same trend, showcasing artists sponsored by Concerts SA. The establishment is run by experienced manager and chef combination of Helene Collins and Lenie Daniels.
Apart from the smooth sounds of jazz, patrons at the Crypt enjoy a range of cheesy temptations and grass-fed aged Karoo beef off the simple menu. A suitable range of beers, wine and spirits are on offer to accompany your meal.
The cover charge is between R100 and R110 per person depending on the event. The first Tuesday of every month is a jam session with free entry for musicians.
The Crypt offers a charming way to enjoy jazz and fine dining during your stay in Cape Town accommodation. Book your place in the Mother City today