Click below and Listen to me!

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+++ Watch us perform live on Sunday afternoons from 1 pm to 4:30 pm at Dari Restaurant, Ngong Road 165, Karen, Nairobi (next to St. Christopher's School) +++
Who I am

Juma Tutu & The Swahili Jazz Band

Juma Tutu grew up in a musical family in the coastal town of Mombasa and took interest in learning musical instruments in 1998 as a form four student at Tudor day high school. He took main interest in the saxophone but was also well conversant with drums. On completion of his O levels, his late father requested his friends for an opportunity to join their band and improve his musical skills.

He was enrolled at Generations band which was one of the most prominent bands in Mombasa. Muhammad Amin was his main mentor and shared lots of knowledge and material with Juma. In 2000 Juma joined Bango sounds since he was highly inspired by Mzee Ngala, one of the greatest saxophonists in the Coast who also pioneered the Bango genre of music. In September 2000 Juma joined Wazalendo band where for the first time he played as the main saxophonist till early 2001 when he got the opportunity to join the Mushrooms band which was at that time the biggest band in East Africa.

Juma moved to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, where he played with the famous Mushrooms band of the JAMBO BWANA fame for two years and had the chance to even share a stage with acts like COOL AND THE GANG.

In 2003 Juma received sponsorship from an international business man, Albert Attias to purchase his own band equipment and he started the Tutu band. The Tutu band was popular for playing covers and was getting gigs mostly in hotels, weddings and corporate functions like Barclays Bank, United Nations, and Unilever Limited among many more.
In 2004 the band travelled to South Africa to back the late Mighty Kingkong and from 2004 to 2006 they were the resident band at Village Market Nairobi and Serena hotel. In 2005 Juma Tutu was nominated by Alliance Francaise for their Spotlight on Kenyan music project and released `Sukari which became a Kenyan favorite that he performed in 2006 before Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki at the launch of Kenol Kobil’s LPG plant.

Juma and the Tutu band performed at the French Ambassador’s residence in 2010 and in 2011,Juma Tutu’s band was contracted by Safaricom Limited as the main band in the Safaricom Kenya Live project. In 2012 Juma and Tatu, the lead vocalist at the Tutu Band, were contracted once again by Safaricom Limited for the Niko Na Safaricom project where Juma was a band leader and Tatu a backup vocalist. After the experience from Niko Na Safaricom, Juma chose to rebrand from The Tutu Band to The Swahili Jazz Band.

He had come to the decision of focusing more on his own creations, Swahili Jazz which is an originally Kenyan sound falling in the Jazz genre of music. It is a blend of mijikenda sounds with Asian, Western and Arabic influences. This type of music is highly enriched with unique sound and poetic Swahili lyrics.

He enrolled new artists and retained Tatu and keyboardist Max Ngala.He had to mentor the drummer, bass guitarist Ted Mwangi and Trumpeter Emmanuel Olabode into the Swahili Jazz Vibe. In 2013 Swahili Jazz Band held a campaign aimed at popularizing the new brand and had Swahili Jazz Nights monthly at Carnivore Restaurant as from July to November alongside other events in major Kenyan towns.

The band also performed at Blankets and Wine in July 2013 edition, World Travel Awards December 2013 and performed for H.E Uhuru Kenyatta and investors during the Machakos Investors Forum, German Ambassador’s residence in 2014 and once again for the President Uhuru Kenyatta at the state house garden party on Mashujaa Day 2014.

Juma Tutu is enrolled at Tangaza University where he is enhancing his music knowledge. Swahili Jazz band will be performing alongside Jimmy Dludlu in December 2014 and has been nominated by Safaricom to represent Kenya for the Safaricom International JazzFestival 2015. Swahili Jazz is currently the resident band at Windsor Golf Hotel and Country club and it is also working on their new album set to be released later in 2014.

The Band is actively involved in mentoring young artists with passion but limited resources in church where they run a music program and platforms like the Hip Hop Hook Up, biggest platform for underground artists in East Africa. Their previous releases got good reception from the public and media.

Ukweli Ulivyo, their latest release was a live recording at a concert and is a pilot project of the forthcoming album.
The song 'Lazaro' is the first single from the album.