Born Nontuthuzelo Elaine Puoane, May 31, 1979, in Pretoria, South African, Tutu Puoane knew her voice would take her around the world. “I am living my dreams. My voice is my passport".
Tutu Puoane first sang in 1997, in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied jazz vocals with Jelena Reveshin and classical with Virginia Davids at the University of Cape Town. She studied with Rachel Gould at The Hague Royal Conservatory of Music and Dance and attended workshops with Deborah Brown and Dianne Reeves.
She’s performed in South Africa, Italy, New York, New Orleans, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Holland.
In 2004, Tutu was Standard Bank's Young Artist of the Year Award for Music. She’s performed with many South African musicians and, in 2001, at the North Sea Jazz Festival Cape Town, leading an Afro-Latino band Tucan Tucan. In 2000, she toured New York with the South African National Youth Big Band of 1999. Tutu is guest vocalist for one of the best big bands in Europe, The Brussels Jazz Orchestra, in a project entitled Writing Billie.
In 2007, Song, her first solo album was released and licensed by a South African label and, in 2009, it was released on a Japanese and a Thai label. Tutu has recently been asked for a new project with the BJO and the Flemish Radio Orchestra and will collaborate with BJO in 2010 for another project in South Africa.
While Tutu’s first album contains covers, Quiet Now, her sophomore album has originals by her partner pianist Ewout Pierreux and bassist Nicolas Thys with lyrics in English and Sepedi, Tutu’s mother tongue. Her quartet recorded three covers by McCoy Tyner, Mark Fransman, a great South African pianist and saxophone player and Joni Mitchell.
Website: Tutu Puoane
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