In February, 2003, Yanni released Ethnicity, his 13th album. The album signaled another creative shift in direction and proved a harbinger of things to come. Yanni once again explored the powerful symphonic sounds that marked some of his earlier works but also incorporated more exotic textures. The album featured an array of different instruments, from an Australian didgeridoo, a Celtic violin, and an Armenian duduk to an Indian tabla, as well as a variety of human voices in the form of solo arias, group chants and even lyrics, a rare departure for the instrumentalist. The same year also saw the publication of his Miramax Books autobiography, "Yanni in Words," a New York Times best seller. It's a reflective look at the challenges, lessons, dreams and obstacles in Yanni's life.
Soon after the release of his book, Yanni undertook an unprecedented North American Tour in November, 2004. The tour kicked off at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, NV. The commanding performance was recorded and filmed for what was to be Yanni's first live CD since Tribute, 2006's Yanni Live! The Concert Event. The mammoth tour included nearly 150 shows, with total attendance of more than 1 million fans, making it, according to Billboard magazine, among the largest grossing for three years running.
After a reflectve time, Yanni experimented with another direction. Yanni explains, "I will always do instrumental music, but now I'm just trying to expand my horizons and open the doors to some incredible talent that can give voice and lyrics to my work."
The multi-Grammy nominated performer is talking about Yanni-Wake Entertainment, his newly formed venture with fellow Grammy and Oscar winning producer/songwriter, Ric Wake. This exciting enterprise will not only continue to create superb music, but it will also develop talented new artists, compose music for films and be involved in movie and television production. Yanni Wake Entertainment has signed Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills.
His more recent tour, Yanni Voices: Live in Concert, in 2009 was a big success. Touring all over North America with sold out shows including Radio City Music Hall and full houses throughout Mexico. The tour was nominated for the prestigious Lunas del Auditorio award and was in support of Yanni's Mexican chart topping release: Yanni Voces (CD) and Yanni Voices (CD).
Yanni Voces reached #1 on the Mexican Pop Charts and #2 on the over all Mexican Music Charts. A recent DVD release of Yanni Voices: Live in Concert reached Amazon's number one best seller list within the first week of sales and was a fundraising success for PBS.