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Gerffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is an aborigine from the Gumatj clan and was born in 1970 on Elcho Island in the north east Arnhem Land of Australia. He began playing music on a toy piano. This blind left handed player plays a guitar tuned for a right handed player upsidedown.
Gurrumul joined his first band – Yothu Yindi at age 15. He was also a member of the Saltwater Band. As a solo artist this talented multi instrumentalist mixes contemporary music with the traditional songs and stories of his native tribe. Gurrumul sings almost entirely in his native tongue of Yolngu Matha. Gurrumul says that he does not talk much – and he knows only a few words in English -, he lets his music talk for him. He says that the Yolngu have an encyclopedia of stories to tell anyone who wishes to listen…these are his songs.
Gurrumul’s self titled debut album entered the European World Music charts at number eight and went on to win an ARIA (Australian Grammy) Award.
EG Music Best Male Artist
AIR Best Independent Album
AIR Best New Independent Artist
AIR Best Australian Independent Blues/Roots Album
Northern Territory’s Australian of the Year
imelight Best World Music Achievement
Limelight Best Newcomer
RIA Best Independent Release
Deadly Single of the Year
Deadly Album of the Year
Deadly Artist of the Year
ARIA Best World Music Album
Indigenous Music Awards Act of the Year
Indigenous Music Awards Album of the Year
Indigenous Music Awards Song of the Year
Indigenous Music Awards Artwork and Design of the Year
”Gurrumul”- certified platinum