A Sage Small Business Story – The Orbit - Blog

A Sage Small Business Story – The Orbit

A Sage Small Business Story – The Orbit

The Orbit Jazz Club opened in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, in 2014, and quickly established itself as one of South Africa’s premier music venues. South African jazz has a proud history, and The Orbit was established to continue this tradition, offering one of the finest acoustic spaces in the country.


Orbit origins


The Orbit takes its name from a 1958 record by Clark Terry. The Orbit was founded by Aymeric Péguillan, Dan Sermand, and Kevin Naidoo – all jazz lovers who saw the need for a space for intimate jazz performance in the vibrant inner city of Johannesburg. The vision of the company is to become “the space where musicians reach new heights with unlimited creative spirit, and gravitate around each other in harmony and spontaneity to produce the most original and inspiring music.”


The Orbit was founded with a democratic spirit in mind. The Orbit’s values are to unite performers with their audience, in a creative and inspiring space, and to focus on the community so as to contribute to Johannesburg’s cultural environment. The founders of The Orbit saw a niche – a number of South Africa’s performance venues closed shop, leaving jazz fans starved of spaces in which to experience their favoured musical form.


The musical vision


Performers at The Orbit range from established professionals – the venue has drawn the whole gamut of South African jazz legends – to up-and-coming jazz students, drawn from the nearby Wits University’s music department. Evening performances can see up to 200 seated guests on the main stage upstairs, enthralled by the virtuoso musicianship on offer. The Orbit also hosts lunchtime gigs for up to 100 guests in their downstairs area, with students from jazz schools invited to play.


The club has a meticulous approach to sound design to ensure the best live and recorded sound. Toms Music is the main technical partner of The Orbit, which has secured a quality backline and sound system for the club.


The Orbit’s democratic ideal in performance flows into the pricing options, with food and drink priced to make it affordable for students and business professionals alike. The Orbit serves fresh bistro food and fine wines and liquors in a relaxed environment.


A space for sound


The Orbit was designed by architect Clare Justine Eisentein. In the early conceptual stages, jazz artists were brought into the space to share their thoughts on how the space should function. As a result, The Orbit has some of the finest acoustics and sound set-ups seen in South Africa.


Recently, The Orbit was caught up in rioting that followed student protests in Braamfontein, with the windows in the downstairs area smashed, while performers waited hesitantly upstairs. The damage wasn’t enough to keep The Orbit down, however – once the glass was swept away and replaced, the doors were reopened to keep the musical spirit lit.


The Orbit’s nomination for the 2016 702 Small Business Awards with Sage One is well-earned – a passion project that has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of South Africa.