One of our featured South African artists this month is that of Tutu Puoane. Now I have heard of lady killers but this is a lady with a killer voice. Born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1979, she studied at college of music in Cape Town before moving on to Europe in 2002. She then bounced around between the Royal Conservatory in Holland and Belgium, before ultimately calling Belgium home in 2004.
Tutu has an excellent mix of European, American and South African traditions in her music. She has five albums that all encompass and live up to these stunning kinds of combinations. She is an artist to look out for. She now has a brand new album that has been released from her new record label Soul Factory records. This album just hit the stores in October and is already a smash hit. Keep on the look out for this bold South African Jazz artist.
Tuto Puoane’s voice is warm and expressive, and she has a great artistic depth that knows no bounds. The music itself is an eclectic blend of European, American, and South African styles but all of these are blended thoroughly and complete in their mixture. The combinations are so intricate that you can not begin to take them apart. That is a hallmark of a great artist. It is their stylings that make them who they are, and it is so intertwined that you can not begin to separate them.
She has deep African roots but there are subtle and float across the music like water. Many songs feature a predominant American Jazz influence of swing, and then there is a distinct Ray Charles influence for blending gospel sound and jazz improvisation. But there is a distinct European vibe as well; this is especially evident in the fast tempos. Her choice of piano players are an excellent compliment to her voice. Her songs with pianist Ewout Peirreux is an excellent combination. She surrounds herself with good musicians like Ewout who give everything an even warmer feeling, coating and saturating the vocal parts with this warmth.
Ms. Tutu and her band are quite a site to see live as well, with a lot of jamming and improve this group never disappoints. Her voice is dynamic in most venues as well, with perfect reverberation and pitch. In stadium type environments or outdoors her voice carries on the wind itself. I can’t wait to see this brilliant artist perform at the South African Jazz Festival. It will be a great show.