SoulFactory is the business structure behind the artistic activities of South African singer Tutu Puoane and Belgian pianist Ewout Pierreux. We are active in music and theatre, and produce albums with our label SoulFactory Records. SFR aims to be a musician-friendly environment for jazz and jazz-related music. We’re developing a small but high-quality catalogue of releases of bands/projects that we love and that can use our support.
Tutu Puoane is one of the exciting voices on the international jazz scene today.
Born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1979, she studied at the Music College of the University of Cape Town (UCT) before moving to Europe in 2002.
She spent two years at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Netherlands) and eventually moved to Antwerp, Belgium in 2004.
Tutu’s music is a cross-over between European, American and South African traditions.
Her repertoire is a mix between own compositions, songs from the Great American Songbook and arrangements of South African originals.
- ‘Song’ (2007)
- ‘Quiet Now’ (2010)
- ‘Mama Africa’ (2011) (with Brussels Jazz Orchestra)
- ‘Breathe’ (2012)
- ‘Live at The Roma’ (2013) (collaboration with the Flemish Philharmonic & Bert Joris)
- ‘The Joni Mitchell Project’ (2016)
- ‘We Have A Dream’ (2018) (with Brussels Jazz Orchestra)
Both ‘Quiet Now’ and ‘Mama Africa’ were awarded a South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Jazz Album (in 2010 and 2011). ‘Breathe’ was the first release of SoulFactory Records.
Besides music, Tutu has also been more and more involved with theatre. In 2015 she worked and toured the world with Wim Vandekeybus and his dance theatre production Speak Low If You Speak Love. Since 2019 she’s one of the actresses in an all-star cast of Dear Winnie, the very successful and award-winning co-production of KVS (Brussels) and NNT (Groningen, NL).
Belgian piano player Ewout Pierreux was born in 1978 in Halle, near Brussels. After taking up music from a young age (playing both piano and saxophone) and getting a formal training in music academies while in elementary and high school, he decided to pursue a professional piano career and went to study in the Lemmens Institute, Leuven in 1996. There he was taught by some of the very best musicians in the Belgian and European jazz scene: Ron Van Rossum, Bert Joris, Dré Pallemaerts, Frank Vaganée, Peter Hertmans, Philippe Aerts… Ewout took masterclasses with a.o. Bill Carrothers, Brad Mehldau, Bobo Stenson, Bruce Barth, Kenny Werner. He graduated cum laude in 2001.
Ewout does sideman work for (mostly Belgian based) projects. Most important bands he works with are different Tutu Puoane projects, Rebirth::Collective, Carlo Nardozza’s WE Big Band and Small World, a coöperation project with South African trumpet player Marcus Wyatt. He plays keys in Flemish pop singer Eva De Roovere’s live band.
He played concerts with a.o. Toots Thielemans, Bert Joris, Kurt Van Herck, Frank Vaganée, Nicolas Thys, Dré Pallemaerts, Bart Defoort, Jos Machtel, Marcus Wyatt, Carlo Mombelli, … and continues to perform extensively, both in Belgium and internationally.
As an educator he teaches jazz piano and ensemble at de Kunsthumaniora in Antwerp. He’s also part of the regular faculty of the yearly jazz summer workshop in Dworp, organised by Halewynstichting vzw.
Recording credits include Tutu Puoane, Rebirth::Collective, Bart Defoort, T-Unit 7, Small World.
Web page: www.ewoutpierreux.com