Armed with a acoustic guitar, Getano is eager to continue to share his gift as a self-described ‘narrator of life stories’ with audiences and those who will benefit.
Not only has he shared the stage with acts such as the ‘Coloured Stones’ and ‘Archie Roach’, he also works with both children and adults as a music therapist.
Born in North Queensland's Mackay to a Scotsman and the Torres Strait Islander daughter of Iama Island Chieftan Kebisu, Getano’s music is etched with his roots. Songs such as ‘Inside Saltwater’ and ‘I am Black’ speak of issues of identity and racism experienced throughout a colourful life that has seen him entertaining and storytelling for over 25 years.
His lyrics also disclose family stories and tell of a personal history dealing with issues of illiteracy, an alcoholic father and running down to the river to evade the seeming chaos at home. It was during these walks by the riverbank that he says he first became interested in song writing as a way to escape.
"Music has been the force of biggest change for me. It's everything. Music is my life,” he told the ABC in 2012.
Telling his own narrative through music and later through dance, Getano has also inspired an interest in hearing others tell their own diverse life stories.
"Music has been the force of biggest change for me. It's everything. Music is my life.”
Getano began using music as therapy when he was working with teenagers with drug and alcohol addictions. While attempting to use song writing to crack into the minds of these kids his talents were discovered. He was then encouraged into studying a professional course for music therapists.
The musician with heart has since gone on to work in prisons, schools and hospitals with people from a variety of diverse backgrounds. From former child soldiers to the homeless, he uses music as a tool to help people to address trauma and communicate their stories.
Getano Bann will be running a song writing workshop at 1pm on Saturday 21 November at the Homeground Festival at the Sydney Opera House. He will also be performing his trademark blend of soulful reggae, roots and blues for the crowds.