On 8th January 2011 a paradigm shift occurred in the Sri Lankan music industry. Musicians who had never shared a stage before, from a myriad genres and 3 generations performed at Sri Lanka’s first ever Guitar Fest.
The event was free to all, ensuring that a cross section of audience members sat or stood on tip toes in a jam packed Russian Cultural Centre as they watched the likes of Amaranath Ranatunge, Captain Jude Peiris, Anthony Surendra, Buddhika ‘Misha’ Rodrigo, Sarani Perera, Andew Obeysekera, Tennyson Napoleon and many other guitarists change their perception of music. The audience, the performers and the guitar collectively became the start of a catalyst for change.
There was pin drop silence as Sarani Perera’s guitar tone echoed hauntingly across the audience. Hands clapped repeatedly in joy as Captain Jude Peiris and Anthony Surendra shared a stage after 25 years and still conveyed a sense of perfect harmony between them. People who had never been exposed to heavy metal were awestruck as Andrew and Tenny played Andura, their rendition of the Gajaga Vannama on electric guitars. An equal number of people burst into thunderous applause as they heard the living legend of Amaranath Ranatunga perform. Music in Sri Lanka changed that night.
And it will continue to do so. The organizers plan to ensure a minimum of 2 free events of this nature happen annually where percussion, rhythm, vocals and every other aspect of music in all its versatility will be unleashed on audiences who have never had a chance to experience it before. Well kept secrets in smaller communities of music lovers will now be free for all to hear & see.
Please support this endeavor in any way you can. For more information, contact Theena Kumaragurunathan on 0773017571.