We need your help.
We’ve started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to continue the work we’ve been doing.
The funds will be used to:-

  • Assist in setting up The Orbit Non-Profit Organization (NPO)
  • Help us update our sound department
  • Launch an online video feed
  • Renovations and repairs

Click here to see the full campaign and pledge your support

Help us and play your part in maintaining the African Musical Renaissance. Thank you all so much for the previous memories shared at The Orbit, we look forward to making many more with your help.

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Science & Cocktail       
Live at The Orbit! 
Scientific presentation followed by SA Jazz 

Tuesday 18th September 2018 – 20 h 00 – R 20

Why is the land issue in South Africa so complicated? Is it possible to institute land policies that reflect this complexity, but are also simple enough to be implementable? What are the underlying principles that should guide us in attempting to solve the puzzle that is the Land Question?

If land issues are inherently multi-faceted and complex, then land policies must be adequate to such complexity; but implementable policies also require clarity and relative simplicity. How can complexity and clarity be reconciled? Politics tends to reduce social complexity to slogans and election promises, and land is particularly susceptible to an emotive politics of identity and belonging. Must complexity be sacrificed within the contested politics of land?

In tonight’s edition of Science & Cocktails Johannesburg, Ben Cousins from the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies will focus on the multi-dimensionality of land and property in contemporary South Africa. He will discuss six key aspects in particular: production and livelihood systems, ecology, property, power, institutions and identity. These inter-penetrate and combine with each other in a myriad of ways, creating a seemingly unmanageable degree of complexity – and generating profound challenges for policymakers.

Policies must be clear and unambiguous, and implementable by bureaucrats following set procedures. In relation to all six aspects, there are common conceptual binaries (rural vs urban, commercial vs subsistence, private vs communal, sustainable vs unsustainable, modern vs traditional, etc) that are a poor guide to designing policy. The heightened politics of land, often a symbol for other issues (inequality, a history of brutal oppression, the lack of reparation, the need for housing and services, etc), also tends to generate a simplistic menu of ‘either/or’ options, such as the need to amend the constitution or not.

But simplifications, whether of policy or politics, often incur heavy costs: project failure, collapsing morale, growing dissatisfaction and the declining legitimacy of the state and other institutions. Thus, as Ben Cousins will argue, there is no alternative to understanding complexity and embodying it in laws, policies, institutions and social practices. These efforts must be guided by clear underlying principles, including the core values of democracy.

Afterwards, smoky crafted cocktails and a live performance by Motswedi will set the stage for further discussion of the interplay between policy and politics.

Ntuli, Cooper, Reising Ft. Marlon Witbooi
Live at The Orbit!
Contemporary SWI/SA Jazz

Wednesday 19th September – 20h 00 – R 160

“In the cold Swiss winter of this year I had the great pleasure to meet two of my, from now on, favorite musicians and composers from South Africa“ Benedikt Reising says, speaking about Thandi Ntuli. And there was not only handshaking, he even had the chance to share the bandstand with the one and the other in different projects.

There are three musicians coming from a very different background but they have one thing in common; all of them aim for the strong and earthy melody and their music has a higher percentage of belly than brain.

This evening features songs and melodies coming from the heart of all of the three bandleaders. But this doesn’t mean, there is only simpering euphony, not at all. There will be the beauty and the beast. For the second set the trio will feature the one and only Marlon Witbooi on his drums.

Thandi Ntuli – piano
Shane Cooper – bass
Benedikt Reising – saxophones
Marlon Clive Witbooi – drums

En Fuego: Salsa 
Live at The Orbit!

Thursday 20th September 2018 – 20 h 30 – R 150

“En Fuego” is inspired by the dynamic New York style Latino sounds. This Afro-Cuban salsa ensemble bases its repertoire from some of the favorite Salseros including (but not limited to) The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Ruben Blades, Hector Lavoe, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Eddie Palmieri, Fruko y Sus Tesos, Tito Puente, and Gloria Estefan.

This is an international ensemble and the artists of “En Fuego” have performed globally with The Afro-Cuban All Stars, James Brown, Incognito, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bebo Valdes, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, Lionel Richie, Maceo Parker, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Eddie Palmieri, Frank Sinatra Jr, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Judith Sephuma, Sibongile Khumalo, Feya Faku, Andrea Bocelli, Claudio Roditi, Freshly Ground, among many others.

Pete Sklair – bass
Riann van Rensburg – timbales
Hadj Ndong – congas
David Cousens – piano
Marcio Houedji – vocals
Cesar Hurtado – vocals
Sweetness Mkhize – vocals
Marcus Wyatt – trumpet
Phumlani Mtiti – sax
Dan Selsick – trombone

Ildo Nandja ft. Sphelelo Mazibuko & Bokani Dyer 
Live at The Orbit!
Contemporary MOZ/SA Jazz

Friday 21st September – 20h 30 – R 140

Hailing from Maputo and a steady fixture in the Durban jazz scene, and currently on the European circuit while pursuing further study in the Netherlands, Ildo Nandja’s performance at The Orbit will showcase some of the brand new material he has been working on while overseas.

Ildo’s original compositions combine African traditional rhythms and melodies with jazz and contemporary world music influences.

Band members Sphelelo Mazibuko and Bokani Dyer are well known for their versatility and dedication to pursuing excellence as contemporary jazz connoisseurs. This diverse collaboration will bring a colourful and dynamic vibrancy to the arrangements and a profound and elevated interaction between the artists and the audience.

Ildo Nandja – bass & vocals
Sphelelo Mazibuko – drums
Bokani Dyer – piano

Shane Cooper presents MABUTA   
Live at The Orbit!
Contemporary SA Jazz 

Saturday 22nd September – 20h 30 – R 150 (Entrance & CD: R 250)

Bassist and composer Shane Cooper returns with his band MABUTA to the Orbit this September. After launching their critically-acclaimed debut album Welcome To This World in February this year, they’ve gone on to release a special Japanese edition with Inpartmaint Inc. and have a double vinyl edition coming out on Afrosynth later this year. One of the freshest instrumental acts in South Africa right now, their music blends elements of jazz, world music and dance music influences into a groove-centric journey for the mind and soul.

“The sextet’s mix of South African jazz and contemporary electronic music is all kinds of friendly and forges a strong connection, even as it simultaneously creates an environment that sparks an introspective reaction.” – Bird is the Worm
“If the eyes are the windows to the soul and a portal opening to reality and closing on dreams, then the eyelids can be seen as the gatekeepers to such worlds. Mabuta—a genre-merging band taking its name from the Japanese word for eyelid—has a keen understanding of that concept.” –

Shane Cooper – basses
Bokani Dyer – piano & synths
Marlon Clive Witbooi – drums
Sisonke Xonti – tenor sax
Robin Fassie-Kock – trumpet

Live at The Orbit
Contemporary SA Jazz

Sunday 23 September – 19h00 – R120

A seven-piece band that has been mesmerizing audiences locally and globally with our Indigenous Funky, Afro-psychedelic sounds, that are riddled in chants and traditional fire from the heart of Soweto. Come and celebrate as we promise you another night to remember.

Kgomotso Mokone
Hloni Maphunye
Skhumbuzo Mahlangu
Mosebetsi Nzimande