The Joni Mitchell Project (2015)

After several albums/tours with her own music and after a few collaborations with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and with Bert Joris & The Flemish Philharmonic, South African/Belgian singer Tutu Puoane revisits the music and poetry of one of her favorite artists, the great Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. She does so in the good company of her friend and internationally acclaimed saxophonist Tineke Postma (NL), great bass player Clemens van der Feen (NL), a longtime friend and drummer Jasper Van Hulten (NL) and her trusted piano player Ewout Pierreux (B). The five of them were brought together to perform a collection of Joni’s repertoire in a one-off gig to celebrate the opening of the new big concert venue Tivoli-Vredenburg in Utrecht, NL. The chemistry on stage was quite special, and the audience loved it, so it was pretty easy to decide that more should be done with this idea/project. In the meantime, an extensive first run of concerts is finished, with gigs in Flemish theatres and festivals (a.o. Jazz Middelheim and Dranouter Festival) and in Dutch clubs (a.o. Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Lux (Nijmegen), Verkadefabriek (Den Bosch), …) and after lots of requests from the audience, a live album has been made which has been released on Tutu’s own record label SoulFactory Records (

Tutu doesn’t only cover Joni’s songs, she makes them her own by using her own timbre and phrasing, and she manages to add a unique African flavor to the repertoire. The band brings its own sound to the music: the interplay between the two ladies on stage is effortless and electrifying, and the guys in the back lend their own musical voices to the tunes, without ever losing sight of the original. The result is a highly intuitive musical journey through an intensely beautiful repertoire. ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, ‘My Old Man’, ‘Hejira’, ‘Both Sides Now’ and many more, sung and played in a recognizable way but like you haven’t heard them before.

The line-up:

Tutu Puoane (SA) – voice
Tineke Postma (NL) – alto & soprano saxophone
Ewout Pierreux (BE) – piano
Clemens van der Feen (NL) – bass
Jasper Van Hulten (NL) – drums
Alex Janssens (BE) – sound technician