Tutu Puoane has long been an inspiring voice on the international music scene.
Born in Pretoria, South Africa, but living in Belgium since 20 years, she hardly needs an introduction: through notable collaborations with, among others, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Bert Joris, the Flemish Philharmonic, Bart Peeters and Tineke Postma, she stole many a heart in Flanders and the Netherlands and far beyond.
In her home country she won two South African Music Awards, one for her album ‘Quiet Now’ (2010) and one for ‘Mama Africa’, as a soloist with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra (2011). In Europe, it was especially with The Joni Mitchell Project (2016), her deeply personal ode to the songs and poetry of the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, that she sang herself into the hearts of audiences.
In April 2022 she was invited by the WDR Big Band (Germany) for a collaboration with the legendary American bassist/arranger John Clayton, and in the summer of the same year she was one of the soloists with the world-renowned Metropole Orkest conducted by Vince Mendoza during the concert series in honor of the 100th birthday of Belgian harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans.
Her name is also growing steadily in the theater world. She was part of Wim Vandekeybus’ dance production ‘Speak Low If You Speak Love’ (2015) and from 2019 she toured internationally with the very successful and much-discussed performance ‘Dear Winnie’ by KVS (Brussels). She is currently playing the lead role in a new KVS production ‘Mimi’s Shebeen’ by choreographer Alesandra Seutin, an ode to the iconic South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba.
Puoane’s beautiful voice, her intuition, her sense of rhythm and melody, combined with her typical charm and sense of humor on stage, make every concert a unique and unforgettable event. Thanks to her infectious personality, she effortlessly succeeds in convincing music lovers across style boundaries. She makes you laugh, she lets you shed a tear, she makes you sing and dance along: she moves you in every possible way.
From 2023 she is working on an album project based on the poetry of her well-known compatriot Lebogang Mashile. Together with her partner in life and music, Belgian pianist Ewout Pierreux, she wrote songs based on poems from Mashile’s collection In A Ribbon Of Rhythm. A first part will be released internationally in the first months of 2024 (digital, CD, vinyl) in a production by the legendary American producer/musician Larry Klein (Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Thomas Dybdahl, …). The album will be called ‘Wrapped In Rhythm’, and will be launched with a Belgian club tour from April 24, followed by an international tour in ’24-’25.