Sixty-Two Bands At Colombo Music Festival
The Colombo Music Festival is due to kick off on August 25 and will host 62 bands ranging from local to international talent. The festival will take place at a range of venues all over Colombo, offering audiences plenty of opportunities to view their favourite musicians perform. Below are several international stars that will be gracing the shows of Colombo to perform at the even.
UK-based New Zealander Brendan Power is acknowledged by many as one of the most creative, skilled and versatile harmonica players around today. Equally at ease on both the earthy Blues Harp as well as the sophisticated Chromatic Harmonica, he tunes them to his own scales to create a highly original style. He has recorded 15 solo CDs to date, in a wide variety of musical genres. Since he moved to Britain in 1992, Brendan’s eclectic skills and sympathetic ear have made him an in-demand session player, leading to live and recording work with artistes such as Kate Bush (her latest album ‘Director’s Cut’), Sting, Van Morrison, James Galway, Paul Young, Shirley Bassey, John Williams, Mike Batt and many more.
His playing is also heard on many Hollywood movie soundtracks (eg. the 2008 Oscar winning soundtrack for ‘Atonement’), and BBC TV series (recent ones include ‘Billy Connelly in Canada’ and Bruce Parry’s Arctic Series). He’s featured on the internationally-syndicated Jools Holland Show and toured worldwide, performing in venues such as China’s Great Hall of the People and The Kremlin. In addition to his Pop, Jazz and Blues skills, Brendan is an expert player of Irish traditional music (winning the 1993 All Ireland Title), and performed for three years as soloist in the Riverdance Show. He has recorded with well-known Irish artistes such as Donal Lunny, Altan, Paul Brady, Arkady, Artie McGlynn, Mary Black and others. A respected harmonica technician & customiser, Brendan is employed by Suzuki Musical Instruments Co. of Japan as their International Harmonica Specialist.
André de Quadros
André de Quadros – Professor of Music, Music Education Department, Boston University. Andre studied violin with Adrian de Mello and conducting with Joachim Buehler and Robert Rosen. DAAD scholarship 1979–1980 for study at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg.
He is chairman of the Board of ALEA III Contemporary Music Ensemble and a board member of Project STEP, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. He is Advisor to the Board of the International Federation for Choral Music, member of the Steering Committee of Conductors without Borders Artistic Director of Aswatuna – Arab Choral Festival, and Artistic Director of the Tomohon International Choir Competition, Indonesia. He is a member of the World Choir Council, the chair of the Folklore Commission of the World Choir Games, a member of the honorary advisory board of Interkultur USA, and a member of the advisory boards of the Hellenic American University, in Athens, Greece and of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. He is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Educational Inquiry and general editor of the Carmina Mundi series published by Carus Verlag. He edits the following choral series: Music of Asia and the Pacific; Cantemus; and Salamu Aleikum: Choral Music of the Muslim World (earthsongs), and Songs of the World (Hinshaw Music).
Conducting engagements of note include Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Prokofiev Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Baden-Baden Orchester, Shiki Daikunokai Choir and Orchestra (Japan), Penang State Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and Kaunas State Philharmonic Choir (Lithuania), Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Orchestra and Massachusetts All-State Chorus. Invited presentations include American Orff Schulwerk Association (Philadelphia), World Symposium of Choral Music (Vancouver), Deutscher Sängerbund (Würzburg), and the National Choral Seminar (Singapore).
His awards include Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President’s Special Commendation for Distinguished Teaching. He is an Accredited Teacher, SEDA (UK) and his prior university appointments include being Associate Professor and Director of Music Performance at Monash University School of Music – Conservatorium, Australia. He is also former Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Festival of Choirs. As a conductor, speaker, clinician and scholar, he has presented, produced, performed, taught or undertaken fieldwork in over thirty countries. His research interests include cross-cultural studies, post-colonial choral music, music and public health, and multicultural music education.
R. K. Bikramjit Singh
On 1st February 1965, Rajkumar Bikramjit Singh was born to the Royal family of Manipur, the son of Rajkumar Roton Singh and Yaimabi Devi in the town of Imphal.
At the tender age of two, was inspired and guided by his two older siblings to follow music and its many nuances and intricacies. In addition this young monarch’s love for sports such as, football occupied the higher slot on his favourite list, with rugby, boxing and weight lifting in that order.
In 1974 tragedy struck this self-confident 8-year old. An accident left him laid up for over a year. Bikramjit was under closely monitored medical treatment for multiple fractures which he endured after falling off a tree. The shadow cast over young Bikramjit’s misfortune, prompted his father to gift him with his first flute whiles he convalesced.
“My father was quite sympathetic, he told me that I would not be able to play football, rugby or box hence he gave me my first flute. Soon, I mastered the art of this beautiful instrument.”
All that persistent practice paid off: Bikramjit was just 13 years old when he started accompanying singers and other musicians on tours. He played for (AIR) All India Radio that year with some established radio performers.
But his real reckoning came when he moved to Pune to pursue higher studies.
In 1989, Bikramjit moved to Pune to complete his masters in Archaeology followed by a Ph.D in 1992. However, pretty soon his academic pursuits came to a halt as Bikramjit leapt passionately to pursue his musical career. There has been no turning back since then.
Today, he belongs to the New Age musicians’ brigade who matches Indian spirituality with a Western perspective. He has collaborated with renowned artistes such as Karunesh of USA, Ronnie Benise of USA, Jorgon Ohnemus of Germany, Chinmaya Dunster of Great Britian, Sashtro of USA, Leslie Lewis of India, Amarish Leib of Germany, Maneesh Vyas of India, Marius Huesch of Germany, Atasa of Japan, Zhubin Kalhor of Iran, Prem Joshua of Germany, Wind Music of Taiwan and Tomas Mischoud of USA… just to name a few. With his deep understanding of Indian classical music and exposure to Western modalities, Bikramjit possesses a keen insight into crafting unique sounds for people who meditate and enjoy soulful musical experiences.
Bikramjit has played in more than 250 international albums, and his album Himalayan Whisper has been listed for the Grammy in World Contemporary Music in 2007.
Koei Tanaka – Chromatic Harmonica & Blues Harp Player, Composer
Born in Tokyo on April 22, 1971. Koei started playing the 10-hole diatonic harmonica at age 15. Until his 20’s, this young musician was playing blues and R & B around the world. He also had an enthusiasm for learning jazz chromatic harmonica as well. Koei plays transcendental mellow delicate and soulful sounds that are unique, which has attracted the attention of many world harmonica players. He is also the official Endorser for SUZUKI HARMONICA.
In 2007, sound and sound control technology is evaluated to be adopted into the harmonica sound presets that are available in European Yamaha synthesizers.
2008, Harmonica in hand Koei set out to take his talent around the world where he made a guest appearance in concerts with four European premier harmonica players.
In 2009, America’s largest harmonica festival ‘Harmonica SPAH.2009 saw him perform the first Japanese solo album ‘sound of the sky (Notes From The Air)’ presentation.
2010, the Asian Games was held in Singapore, Pacific Ocean Harmonica A’sia Pacific Harmonica Festival’ Guest performance were staged by Koei at the closing ceremony.
In 2011, Koei performed at concerts and seminars in Malaysia and Singapore. Since 2008, the ‘harmonica Santa’ began operations in Uganda, which encourages the use of harmonicas in children. This young musician began his work in East Africa visiting many schools and orphanages where there were AIDS orphans, street children to name a few. Music Therapy activities he continued to have in 2009 by visiting Cambodia and South Africa in 2010.He was also in Sri Lanka in 2011 at the invitation of the local government authorities where he visited many schools conducting workshops.
Tanaka Travels with his band Koei Tanaka Harmonica, Traditional Sawamura (piano), Yusuke Nishimura (bass), Yoshikazu Suda (drums).