Award winning Indigenous musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu took the nation by storm in 2008 with his debut self-titled album that scored him four ARIA award nominations, winning Best World Music Album and Best Independent Release, and peaking on the Australian charts at #3.
Since then his career has only been on the up, highlighted by his invitation to perform for the Queen during her recent visit to Australia. Now the 41-year-old singer, who is also blind and plays his guitar upside-down much like Jimi Hendrix, has been formally invited to perform a special private gig for visiting US President Barack Obama when he visits the musicians hometown of Darwin.
The president will be in Darwin tomorrow to visit the RAAF Base where he hopes to set up a US military outpost, and it is expected that the performance will take place somewhere there. Reports also indicate fellow Darwin local Jessica Mauboy has also been invited to perform although due to some travel difficulties it is unclear whether she will return to Australia in time.
Mark T Grose, Gurrumul’s manager, spoke to Tone Deaf this morning and said of the invitation, “Playing for the Queen in Canberra was a great honor, playing for the President and this President in particular, in Gurrumul’s own home town is beyond special it is something that will be cherished forever.”
This won’t be the first time Obama has been introduced to the award winning musician however, back in March Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave the President an iPod full of Australian artists, including a few of Gurrumul’s tracks.
Barack Obama is expected to land in Canberra as part of his whirlwind visit sometime after 3pm today. Check out our slideshow of the President’s favourite songs of all time, as chosen by the man himself.