Atteridgeville-born Tutu Puoane, a two time SAMA Award winner, completed her vocal studies at UCT in 2001 and turned down a big contract with a major South African record company to work with celebrated Dutch pianist Jack van Poll and to study further in Europe. She wanted to develop to the fullest her unique talents as a jazz vocalist and performer.
Today, Puoane has grown into a skilled and experienced singer and performer, having gained respect in Europe from musicians and audiences alike. She released two albums with her European band : ?song? (2007) and ?quiet now? (2009, which won a SAMA in 2010), both of which received critical acclaim. One of Europe?s best big bands, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, invited her to work with them, resulting in an album called ?Mama Africa? celebrating the late and great Miriam Makeba, which scooped the South African Music Award for Best Traditional Jazz Album of 2011.