Busker started at a young age
Janawirri Yiparrka has often been seen outside Peninsula Plaza in Woy Woy, busking with his didgeridoo.
Janawirri started playing didgeridoo at a young age, even though it was not a traditional instrument from his area.
His enthusiastic enjoyment for this instrument was inspired by watching traditional players from the northern parts of Australia at corroborees.
He was one of the first didgeridoo players performing at well-known music festivals, such as the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, Crossing Borders Festival in Germany and Den Haag in Holland.
Janawirri has raised the awareness of the instrument and has taken it to an international audience.
One of his musical triumphs was his performance with his cousin Mark Atkins at the Heidelburg Music Festival in 1996.
Over the decade of his work in Europe, Janawirri collaborated with many international musicians of different styles and instruments.
Janawirri is influenced by jazz, blues and different styles of traditional music in central and northern Australia.
He was introduced to Europe by jazz flautist Peter Fassebender.
His solos sound like an orchestra in itself.
He utilises the extraordinary range of sounds available to the didgeridoo and has created new sound combinations that would not have been explored before.
His unique blend of the sounds of his ancient, traditional instrument with contemporary musical trends is a great listening experience.
His range of skills are educational as well as musical, whether explaining the Dreamtime to school children or showing his virtuosity in performing with major jazz musicians.
Janawirri learnt to paint while sitting with Malcolm Jagamarra and other senior Aboriginal artists.
He paints in the tradition of his people from the Wongatha nation, in what is known as the eastern goldfields area of Western Australia.
His style is derived from traditional Western Desert style interpreted with a contemporary western palette.
His art, like his music, is as vibrant as the colours of the wildflowers in his homelands. Janawirri combines his traditions with his own contemporary feel.
One of his favourite creations is painting on surfboard.
He has exhibited in Vienna, Amsterdam, Prague, New York, and Texas.
He was a resident artist at Wicked Sticks Gallery at Clarion Music Centre in San Francisco in 1997 and in 1998.
In addition to his artistic expression, Janawirri advocates respect for the intellectual property rights of indigenous people, particularly on the internet.
Janawirri's wife teaches at Brisbane Water Secondary College and their daughter is also a student there.
He hopes to someday go on another artistic/musical tour of Europe.
More information on this local identity can be found at www.presoz.com.au/Janawirri/