Dudu Pukwana hails from Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth in South Africa. His first instrument was the piano, but he soon switched to alto-sax after meeting tenor sax player Nick Moyake. With help from Dollar Brand Pukwana left South Africa to go into exile. He played the Antibes Jazz Festival in France and then stayed to work on the Riviera and Switzerland. Eventually he made his way to London with the band The Blue Notes, where they became exposed to American jazz.