Frank Yamma (fl. c. 2000) is a singer and songwriter from Central Australia. He is a Pitjantjatjara man who speaks five languages and sings in both Pitjantjatjara and English. He is the son of Issac Yamma, an early artist who pioneered singing Western style songs in traditional language.
Regarded by many as one of Australia’s most important indigenous songwriters, Yamma’s brutally honest tales of alcohol abuse, cultural degradation, respect for the old law. He has performed in bands Ulpanyali Band, Digital Dreaming, Terrasphere, Piranpa ('skinny white lizards' in Pitjantjatjara) and his father's Pitjantjatjara Country Band.
Frank Yamma & Piranpa won a Deadly in 1999 for their album Playing with Fire. In 2005, with David Bridie, he won AGSC Screen Music Award for Best Original Song composed for a Feature Film, Telemovie, TV Series or Mini-Series
The critically acclaimed Countryman in 2010 revitalised Yamma’s career following a ten year hiatus. This album gained international attention which sparked extensive national and international touring. For this album, Yamma picked up for a licensing deal with Proper Records UK.
Frank’s Australian touring highlights include WOMADelaide, Byron Bay Bluesfest and Sydney Festival. He has undertaken three tours to Europe since 2011, performing at the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Womad, The New Hebridean Festival in Scotland, Festival Bled (Slovenia) and Colours of Ostravia.
His 2014 follow up album on Wantok Musik, Uncle shows the continuity of a musician that is hitting his peak with grace and conviction. In 2014, Yamma performed across Canada at Calgary Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival and Winnipeg Folk Festival, where he shared the stage with Buffy Saint Marie and The Mekons, as well as performing a coveted spot opening for Joan Baez.
- Solo albums
Frank Yamma & Piranpa
Playing with Fire (1999) - CAAMA Music
Keep up the pace (2006) - CAAMA Music
Solid Eagle (1997) - CAAMA Music
Countryman (2010) - Wantok/Planet
Uncle (2014) - Wantok Musik
- Feature albums
- Compilation albums
Corroboration (2001) - Festival Mushroom
Olympic Record (2000) - Warner Music Group
Songlines - Acoustic Sounds (1997)- EMI & ABC Music
Port Fairy Festival (1986) Independent
Wantok Volume 1 (2011) - Wantok Musik/Planet
- NAIDOC Week 2002
- Digital Dreaming
- Rappin' to the drum of a different beat - Frank Yamma and Wicked Beat Sound System
- "Frank Yamma: a fire that burns brighter." Article by Peter Vincent in the Sydney Morning Herald. 15 October 2014.