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The Jaffna Music Festival 2013

The Jaffna Music Festival 2013
The Jaffna Music Festival 2013

1st & 2nd March 2013

The Jaffna Music Festival 2013 will be held in the Jaffna Municipal Grounds on Friday the 1st & Saturday the 2nd March 2013 offering an amazing opportunity to experience a gathering of both Sri Lankan and International folk, classical and contemporary music groups. Entrance is free to all events. 

There will be simultaneous performances on four individual stages dedicated to Folk, Classical, Contemporary and Children’s musical routines from 09.00am –12.00pm on Friday and Saturday. The morning programme will allow festivalgoers to have a personally engaging experience through interactive performances. On both days this will be followed by a main stage performance from 5.00pm daily with the following line up

The Jaffna Music Festival 2013 day 01
The Jaffna Music Festival 2013 day 01
The Jaffna Music Festival 2013 day 02
The Jaffna Music Festival 2013 day 02

The Sri Lankan Folk Performers, rarely seen outside their communities will include: Maarai Kaatha Maveerar a Catholic Koothu from Pasiyoor, Jaffna which has a history dating back 200 years. It depicts the story of Joseph Vaz the Catholic missionary who travelled from Goa to Sri Lanka; Pakeer Baith is a traditional performance of Muslims in Ampara based on the sequences of a traditional wedding; Paparavahan Koothu from Chulipuram, Jaffna; Parai Mela Koothu– are Parai drum artists from Kanakarayankulam and Mulliyawalai in Mullaitivu who have performed this Koothu (which is unique to Vanni) from generation to generation.They perform for both religious and social occasions; Ritual Songs of Batticaloa are sung by the students from Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies, Eastern University, Sri Lanka. It is believed that some deities can possess humans and these ritual songs praise those deities; Vezhalam Padutha Veerangani is a popular Koothu existing in the Vanni which depicts the tragic story of a heroic lady who tamed a ferocious elephant and how jealous parties in the village put her to death which led to her husband taking his own life in order to spend eternity with his wife and Sanni Yakuma – (Benthara) is a dance group that perform exorcist healing rituals with a history reaching far back into Sri Lanka’s pre-Buddhist past. Most Sri Lankans rarely have a chance to witness this extremely colourful and vibrant ceremony, due to the exorbitant costs and duration of the performance, traditionally lasting up to 12 hours.

The Classical Musical Groups performing will be the Colombo Brass Ensemble which is a group of musicians who are dedicated to promoting Brass Music in the island; Natharanjanee is a well-known group of classical Carnatic vocalists in Jaffna; Mangala Isai – Nathaswaram, Thavil which is a group of popular Nathaswaram and Thavil artists from Jaffna; Oriental Music Orchestra is Sri Lanka’s first multi-ethnic oriental music orchestra, showcasing the diverse ethnic and regional musical traditions that exist in the country; Phoolan Devi Opera is an opera performed by the Khemadasa Foundation which was set up to foster the musical talents of low-income youth from all over the country. The opera was composed by Gayathri Khemadasa the daughter of the late composer Premasiri Khemadasa. Traditions Meet is a Classical Instrumental Recital blending North Indian classical music with South Indian Carnatic music performed by veteran Hindustani and Carnatic musicians.

The Contemporary Groups will be Naadro a percussion band who uses both Sri Lankan traditional instruments and other percussion instruments to produce their own signature style; the Ranwala Brigade who are a Sri Lankan Folk Fusion band started by the late Lionel Ranwala, archivist and developer of traditional Sri Lankan music; the Ravibandu Vidyapathi Drum Ensemble is widely regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s finest drum ensembles and is lead by acclaimed Sri Lankan drummer, dancer and choreographer Ravibandu Vidyapathi; Sapthami a popular Jaffna band which plays a wide genre of music such as, melody music, Carnatic music and Hindu and Christian devotional songs and The Musicmatters Collective which is an ensemble dedicated to the exploration of creative musicmaking. This particular project sees the collective presenting music inspired by the improvisational tradition of jazz based on melodies from Sri Lankan folk music.

International Groups

Chirkutt from Bangladesh became popular in the Bangladeshi scene with the release of their debut full-length album “Chirkuttnama” (2010). Their powerful lyrics, energetic and unique compositions, varied use of eastern and western instruments and musical scales, elements of fusion and folk music offer a very distinct local sound. Nirtya Nandan will be a mother-daughter duo performing several accompanying dance items.

Harmonia Do Brasil from Brazil are the sweet voiced Nanda Garcia, the singer, plus the trio Alessandro Cardozo, playing the small guitar (a Brazilian instrument known as ‘cavaquinho’), Charles da Costa with the acoustic guitar, and Netinho in charge of percussion. The trio has been playing together for the past 14 years throughout the main cities in Brazil. They have participated on several music festivals all over the country and they have also recorded “Brasileirinho”, a CD and DVD launched in 2005 that participated on Cannes Film Festival. For the Jaffna Music Festival, Harmonia Do Brasil will play a miscellaneous collection of Brazilian music: samba, bossa nova and choro, among other rhythms.

Casa Murilo from Norway began with two Englishmen who met two Norwegian girls in Brazil. They met a great man called Murilo. When the two Englishmen later left Brazil for Norway, they named their band after him as a dedication. They are well known on the Oslo underground for their wild, energetic live shows. They released their second album “The Rise And Fall” in 2012.
In Jaffna, you will meet the two founders of the band, Chris Winfield and Dan Hesketh who will also perform at the main stage with the Bangladeshi band Chirkutt, whom they met during the 2012 Casa Murilo Asia Tour. The two bands quickly became musical friends and gave a large joint outdoor concert in Dhaka. In Jaffna, to everyone’s delight, they will meet again. What do you get when you mix an indie-rock band from Norway and a folk fusion band from Bangladesh? A very good time!

Ila Arun Troupe from India is a led by a leading folk and Bollywood singer who has been working with Rajasthani folk artists for the last 30 years and has brought folk music and folk dance of Rajasthan into the mainstream of the Indian Music Scene and made it popular all around the world. The group consists of folk singers folk dancers and musicians playing rare folk instruments. 

Sabreen Association from Palestine focus on live and public performances, networking with musicians, public productions and music in schools in the Palestinian territories including Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. The musicians performing will be Charlie Rishmawi a multi-instrumentalist who enjoys many musical genres; John Robert Handal who is a percussionist; Joseph Duqmaq who is an accomplished saxophonist/pianist and Mohammad Abu Hamdah who specializes in Folklore Dabkeh and contemporary dance. 

Hat-trick and Fiddle from Norway are Ulf-Arne Johannessen and Erlend Viken, two up-and-coming performers offering a small taste of the Norwegian folk tradition. They will demonstrate Halling, a highly competitive music and dance tradition, where men are like roosters trying to impress women with their skills. They will also be performing with Nritya Nandan, Bangladesh and Aru Sri Art Theatre, Sri Lanka. 

Nritya Nandan from Bangladesh, is a vibrant dance duo who are versatile dancers in Maipuri, Bharatha Natyam and Oddissi, They are also popular Bengali Folk dancers who depict the lively, colourful, and rhythmic local folk culture. They will combine together with Hat-Trick and Fiddle, Norway and Aru Sri Art Theatre, Sri Lanka. 

Aru Sri Art Theatre from Sri Lanka will feature a selection of classical Barathanatyam and Kandyan dancers who are also engaged in Folk and Contemporary dance. They, together with a selection of eminent classical musicians, are to collaborate culture and skill in the dance programme between Hat- Trick and Fiddle, Norway and Nritya Nandan,Bangladesh. 

The Jaffna Music Festival 2013 is brought to you by Sewalanka in collaboration with Rikskonsertene (Concerts Norway) and Aru Sri Art Theatre and 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.

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