Frank Yamma

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Frank Yamma
Frank Yamma.jpg
October, 2013
Background information
GenresFolk, Acoustic
InstrumentsGuitar, Vocals
LabelsWantok Musik

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.[1] 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.[2] 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[3]

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.

Also in 2014, Yamma was invited to perform in the official showcase at WOMEX in Santiago de Compostelo, Spain.


  • Solo albums

Frank Yamma & Piranpa
Playing with Fire (1999)[4] - CAAMA Music
Keep up the pace (2006)[5] - CAAMA Music
Frank Yamma
Solid Eagle (1997)[6] - CAAMA Music
Countryman (2010) - Wantok/Planet[7]
Uncle (2014) - Wantok Musik

  • Feature albums

Digital Dreaming
Inma Wiru (1999) - Iguana Records
Terrasphere (1997) - CAAMA Music
Ulpinyali Band
Ulpinyali Band (1989) - CAAMA Music

  • 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


  1. ^ Wantok Music
  2. ^ Billboard, 6 November 1999, "Jimmy Little" by Christie Eliezer
  3. ^ 2005 AGSC Screen Music Awards
  4. ^ Playing with fire
  5. ^ Keep up the pace
  6. ^ Solid eagle
  7. ^ Hillier, Tony (23 October 2010), "Countryman review", The Australian

External links[edit]