Yanni Finds His Voice

Greek composer and instrumental superstar Yanni is preparing to return to the scene next year, but he’s made a couple of changes.

For starters, the famous mane of hair and ’stache have gone the way of the eight-track tape.

If that’s not enough of a shock for the legions of Yanni fans out there, there’s also this: The artist’s upcoming album isn’t instrumental.

Yanni Voices, due March 24 on the new Disney Pearl Series imprint, is the composer’s first studio album in six years. It features the vocal talents of four singers – Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills – who were discovered by Yanni and producer Ric Wake (Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Barry Manilow).

The team has spent the past two years at Yanni’s art studio compound in Florida turning his most famous themes into new songs with vocals.

Two upcoming PBS specials will focus on the new project, with the first – a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album and introduction to the four vocalists – premiering Nov. 29.

The second show is an hour-long live concert shot at the Forum at Mundo Imperial in Acapulco, Mexico, that will premiere March 2 as part of PBS’s Spring pledge drive.

Yanni will also embark on his first world tour since 2004 in April, with the North American leg kicking off April 10 at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.

The trek, with stops including Mexico City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles and all points in between, will feature performances by Yanni, a full orchestra and the four vocalists.

Tickets go on sale Dec. 19.