By Mark Kemp

When acoustic guitarist Chris Tamwoy appeared on Australia’s Got Talent earlier this summer, he not only brought together influences ranging from the fingerstyle picking of fellow countryman Tommy Emmanuel to the tapping techniques of American percussive guitar master Preston Reed — Tamwoy also brought his own cultural spin to the form. The video above shows his Grand Finale instrumental performance (he didn’t win the contest, but he impressed the judges), and the one below introduces Tamwoy with His Musical Family, performing a vocal song that reflects his  indigenous upbringing.

“I am very privileged to live in a country that is culturally diverse,” Tamwoy, 20, told the Brisbane Times on March 6, “and I am proud that as an Indigenous man I am able to show Australia that a lot of Indigenous people have talent in a whole range of areas.”


Tamwoy grew up on Australia’s Badu Island in the Torres Strait, studied at JMC Academy, performed a TEDx in 2013, and played Bluesfest in Byron Bay the following year.

Listen to more of Tamwoy’s music here.