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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Jaffna Music Festival

Galle Music festival BnS crowd raisers
Galle Music festival BnS crowd raisers

1st & 2nd March 2013

The Jaffna Music Festival returns to Jaffna Municipal grounds in March 2013. This time around the festival will host aneclectic array of music – including folk, contemporary and classical to name a few. This is a sister event of the GalleMusic Festival, which attracted an audience of over 22,000 people over two days in 2012.The Jaffna festival promises tobe as exhilarating as the Galle festival bringing together an exciting line up of musicians, dancers, performers and ritualists.On the 1st and 2nd March 2013, the Jaffna Municipal Grounds will be bursting with a combination of vibrant music, colour and culture. 

The festival itself will be a celebration of the unique and fascinating history, heritage, diversity and talent
that Sri Lanka has to offer. Joining the exciting line up of local artists will be a line-up of International performers.

The local and International artists will lead simultaneous performances on Friday and Saturday from 09.00am –12.00noon followed by a main stage performance from 05.00pm – 10.30pm daily.

The morning programme will showcase simultaneous performances on four individual stages dedicated to Folk,Classical, Contemporary and Children’s items. These stages will provide a unique and informal setting by which festival goers will be encouraged to have a personally engaging experience with performances. There will be opportunities for audiences to gather information about the historical and musical significance of items and instruments and to join in on the festivities.

The morning programme will also feature music workshops primarily geared at further engaging and educating students from national universities. Festival goers who are keen on discussing and understanding the rich history and diversity behind particular performances and instruments are also welcomed and encouraged to engage in the workshops organized during the day.

The list of artists under the following categories are:


Marai Kaatha Maaveerar - (Pasiyoor, Jaffna)
Pakkeer Baith – (Ampara)
Paparavahan Koothu – (Chulipuram, Jaffna)
Parai Mela Koothu - (Mulliyawalai & Kanakarayan Kulam, Mullaithivu)
Ritual Songs of Batticaloa- (Batticaloa)
Sanni Yakuma – (Benthara)
Vezhalam Padutha Veerankani – (Mulliyawalai, Mullaithivu)

Classical Groups

Colombo Brass Ensemble
Mangala Isai- Nathaswaram, Thavil
Natharanjanee (Carnatic vocal ensemble)
Oriental Music Orchestra
Phoolan Devi Opera (Gayathri Khemadasa opera project)
Traditions Meet (Sangeetha Sangamam) (Veteran Hindustani and Carnatic musicians combine)

Contemporary Groups

Naadro (Percussion)
Ranwala Brigade (Folk Fusion)
Ravibandu Vidyapathi Drum Ensemble
The Musicmatters Collective (Improvisational Jazz)

International Groups


As a part of the pre-festival empowerment programme various village level-performances will take place in Muliyavali,Mullathivue and Pasiyoor, Jaffna on the 9th and 10th February 2013. These pre-festival performances will feature the recently revived Northern Folk groups and will serve as an opportunity for local groups to both showcase their unique heritage and revive community awareness and support for these near extinct folk forms.

As at the past festivals, the Jaffna Music Festival will serve as a much needed meeting place for local and internationalv artists and provide a forum where they can share, exchange, fuse and interact with other artists. Northern and Southern artists and audiences will have the opportunity to experience and interact with artists from the north, east, south and west and be introduced a diverse array of musical genres.

The aim of the Jaffna Music Festival is not only to showcase the diverse traditions and musical genres from around the island. It is also geared to specifically introduce these musical styling’s to school children and young people in order to further stimulate their awareness and interest in the performing arts. The festival also looks towards reviving Jaffna’s historical status as a hub of arts and culture. As a parallel part of this venture, the festival will also showcase an array of unique traditional local cuisines to provide a holistically authentic experience for audiences.

In collaboration with Rikskonsertene (Concerts Norway) and Aru Sri Art Theatre, Sewalanka Foundation presents the Jaffna Music Festival 2013. The Festival is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This time around the festival will be conducted in co-partnership with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and The Municipal Council of Jaffna. The exclusive electronic media partners for this event are Shakthi TV and Sirasa TV.

This event is a part of a larger nonprofit Music Cooperation Program that is established with the objective to stimulate the musical performing arts of Sri Lanka, by providing for exchange while preserving the traditional Sri Lankan musical expressions.

There will be no entrance fee for this event.

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