Gumatj Beauty

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

Gurrumul (Dramatico/Skinnyfish DRAMCD0054, 2008)

One of the most fascinating discoveries in recent weeks is the album by Australian singer Gurrumul. He is a member of the Gumatj clan on Elcho Island, off the coast of tropical North East Arnhem Land. Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was born blind. He never learned Braille and speaks little English. Gurrumul accompanies himself on guitar on his intimate and enchanting songs. One his latest CD, Gurrumul, he sings in various Australian aboriginal languages such as Galpu (the language of his mother), Gumatj, Djambarpuyngu and English.

The CD booklet includes original lyrics together with English language translations. Gurrumul’s captivating and beautiful songs celebrate his land, the first nations of Australia, the ancestors and family, although there are also moments of grief.

Gurrumul is a member of the popular Saltwater Band, which is one of the leading aboriginal bands in Australia. His work was recognized two years ago at the NT Indigenous Music Awards where he was awarded the Album of the Year and Song of the Year 2008, as well as Best World Music Album at the ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) Awards.

American audiences will be able to experience Gurrumul’s music live in the next days. He will be playing an intimate show at Joe’s Pub on June 15th and will play additional dates in the East and West coasts (see concert dates below).

Gurrumul is a mesmerizing recording by one of the most beautiful voices from Australia.

Tour dates

June 15 – Joe’s Pub – New York, NY
June 20 – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA
June 22 – Millennium Stage @ Kennedy Center – Washington DC
June 30 – Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL
July 3 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
July 6 – Triple Door – Seattle, WA
July 8 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA

Buy the album: Gurrumul

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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