Dr Phuti Sepuru

Lecturer, Academic, Pianist & Musician

The Genesis

Phuti’s active encounter with music began at the age of 6 with playing the recorder. At the age of 10, she began playing classical piano. She then later enroled at the National School of the Arts, where she was an exceptional learner, coming out as the top classical music student in 2004.

Sepuru’s dedication and desire to develop herself led her to pursue music academically. She completed her Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of Pretoria in 2011, majoring in Jazz Piano Performance, Music Education, and Music Technology. She went on to graduate with a Master’s degree in Musicology in 2015 and graduated with her Doctorate in Musicology in 2020. Her current research interests include musical identity, and exploring elements of musical style in South African jazz pianism, particularly practitioner-based research.


Dr. Sepuru is currently employed as a Lecturer in Musicology at the University of South Africa (Department of Art and Music). She held tenure at the University of Pretoria from 2016 to 2023, as a Lecturer in Classical Music and Jazz Studies and post-graduate supervisor.

Some of Sepuru’s professional highlights include being selected as a Research Fellow for the University of Michigan’s African Presidential Scholarship (Winter 2022); being elected as Vice-President (Southern Region) of the Pan-African Society for Musical Arts Education (PASMAE), and a Board Member of the South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE). She was selected as the pianist for the esteemed Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band in 2015 and was also invited to join the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society.

Sepuru is very active as a versatile session musician who has worked with many artists and projects that include: Winnie Mandela Tribute Concerts (Tshepo Tshola, Judith Sephuma, Siphokazi, Zahara, Simphiwe Dana, Dr. Tumi, Ringo Madlingozi and the Bala Brothers); Women in Song Legacy Tour (Abigail Kubeka, Dorothy Masuka, Mabongi and Deborah Fraser); BAsadi Women of Jazz; Candy Tsamandebele, Concord Nkabinde, and Simphiwe Dana. More recently, she joined the ‘Nelson Mandela: The Song Lives On” Project as Pianist and backing Vocalist.

Some of the Countries she has travelled to and performed in include: Ghana, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Sweden, Denmark, Rwanda, Zambia, Egypt, New Zealand, and the Seychelles.