Wrapped In Rhythm is a double album project dedicated to and based on the beautiful poetry of Tutu’s SA compatriot Lebo Mashile.

For almost ten years, Tutu walked around with Lebo’s collection In A Ribbon Of Rhythm under her arm. The poems made a deep and lasting impression on her. She felt she identified with them in a way that had never happened before with any literature.

“Ten years ago, Lebo’s poems had me in a choke-hold. They translated into words a lot of feelings, truths and sentiments about myself, my people, my culture, our heritage and our country in a very profound way.  I find a lot of those things very difficult to explain myself, and that is why her poems grabbed me. Lebo was able to express things that I feel deeply but am not able to express. As I was leafing randomly through the collection, I would start reading a poem, and I would also always hear music behind it.”

Tutu decided to write a bunch of new songs based on some of her favorites from Mashile’s collection.

The result is an original repertoire sounding like her own mix of jazz, singer-songwriting and soul.

This music forms the basis for a double album project.

The first volume of ‘Wrapped In Rhythm’ is produced by well-known American musician/bassist/producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Thomas Dybdahl, Herbie Hancock, …) and contains a first selection of 8 ‘poetry songs’, recorded with her European working band and a few guests. The album was released on March 15  2024.

Volume II is planned to come out in 2025 and is an orchestral coöperation with the famous Dutch Metropole Orkest, with arrangements by Bert Joris of another selection of 7 songs. The orchestra is directed by American/Portuguese director Jacomo Bairos.

For bookings/inquiries about availability, please check the territorial info on the contact page of this website.