funky and smooth saxophonist
Women saxophonists in music history were to some extent excluded from
this male dominated field. But with the passage of time gender wasn’t an
issue. Women saxophonists moved into the scene steadily to disrupt this
dominant gender ideology. Kathy Stobart is a stand out and soon there
were others – Vic Redd, Candy Dulfer, Pamela Williams, Layla Angulo,
Kaori Kobayshi, Mihiko Abe, Mindy Abair, Melissa Aldane – the list is
Currently in Sri Lanka is the exciting alto saxophonist Dumbira
Lippez from Bogota, Colombia taking the music to another level with her
warm talented saxophone, and her control over what she wants to play.
And hear her you must! Dumbira performs at the Lattice, Taj Samudra,
Tuesdays through to Sundays and if you are looking for a nightspot to
chill out – then catch Dumbira in action. She has a magical repertoire
that lasts for four hours daily and if the occasion demands she can go
through with an eight hour repertoire. You’d be amazed at the selection
of songs with which she entertains you. In the bag are hits from the
Beatles song book, the Bee Gees, John Denver, Elton John, hits from folk
rock sheets, ballads, famous sheets of jazz standards and more.
Meeting her for the first time the thought hits you that she’s a
pianist or a guitarist and not a saxophonist. Why did you choose the sax
and not any other instrument?
my passion was to play the oboe. I did three semesters but you won’t
believe me, in Columbia somebody stole my oboe and I had to change the
instrument in college. Then I chose the saxophone, continued my career
with the sax and finished my degree in music, studying the sax.”
A degree in music in Columbia what did your study involve?
“We learnt the technique of the instrument – how to play the
instrument, how to play any type of music – local or international,
improvisation and how it works. You are taught the music language – how
to read music, write music, compose music. We learn the history of
musicians and their works.”
After you finished college did you branch out and join a band or an
orchestra and continue your playing?
“I taught for a while at the University but I also joined the
University orchestra, the jazz ensemble and played in the topical
orchestra. In Columbia they have many topical music orchestras playing
not pop music but Latin music in different styles. We have 5 regions and
each region has its own music. I travelled in my childhood and the
desire to perform out of Columbia urged me to accept a performance date
in the Emirates and this was in 2006, when I performed with a four piece
band. Our program was Latin music – salsa, bossa nova, bolera and
merengue. When I came back I worked as a soloist. In 2012 I met with an
agent from India and he gave me the opportunity to travel and perform
alone. This was a challenge and I enjoyed playing as a soloist.
Dumbira’s style in playing the saxophonist is entertaining.
An evening with her at the Lattice will drive away your blues. She
covers a variety of hits with smooth simplicity. Be it pop or funk there
is joyfulness in her performance and she gives you the opportunity to
relive your favourite hits and go home with memories. Her interaction
with the audience is cool. “I love to travel, I love to meet people and
I enjoy the food in Sri Lanka.”
Asked if she had a chance to live her life all over again would she
choose to be a musician. Her answer was emphatic.
“I will. I believe with music we are better human beings. Not only in
playing and interpreting the music but you acquire a better
understanding of human beings and as a performing musician you meet a
wide spectrum of human beings.”
MUSIC DAY 2016:
“ La musique plus forte que…
/ Music stronger than …”
International Music Day 2016 will be celebrated on the 25 June 2016 in
the superb courtyard of Barefoot Garden Café. On this occasion, a number
of bands and artists will entertain all audience performing songs and
enthralling rhythms, ranging from traditional Kandyan Rhythm to jazz and
From 3pm to 10pm, pop music, jazz, traditional music, percussions and
world music artistes will succeed each other on stage for the greatest
pleasure of all. This year’s program will feature Famous music bands
including NAADRO, THE SLIPPING CHAIRS, FUNK AVENUE, ESHANTA DE ANDRADO,
RAVIBANDHU VIDYAPATHI & GROUP.
In the evening, at the peak of the event, French band GALA SWING
QUARTET, brought along for your entertainment by the Embassy of France
to Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the Alliance Française de Kotte, the
ONLY Alliance Française in Colombo accredited by the Alliance Française
Foundation and the Embassy of France, will perform gipsy jazz music,
inviting Sri Lankan renowned band NAADRO to join them on stage to share
a moment of music fusion.
Initiated by the French Ministry of Culture in 1982, Music Day has
become a most-attended event worldwide. Every year in June, celebrating
the beginning of summer, music lover and professional musicians invade
the streets in Europe and come together to perform freely. Last year,
120 countries and 700 cities all around the world have organized
concerts and gathered about 10 million music fans.
To raise funds for flood relief:
Phan Kieu Thu
Menaka De Fonseka
The Ambassador of Vietnam to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Phan Kieu Thu
and Sri Lankan Soprano Menaka De Fonseka Sahabandu will raise funds for
flood relief with a concert Graceful Melodies at the Russian Centre, 10
Independence Avenue, Colombo 7.
Ambassador Phan has gained a name for herself among both Sri Lankans
and the diplomatic community for her ability to sing in eight languages
including Sinhala, Russian, Spanish and Korean. She holds a B.A in
Russian Literature and Language alongside an M.A in Public Policy. She
is now completing a Ph.D in Economics. It was only in September last
year that she performed to raise funds for a housing project for people
Menaka De Fonseka Sahabandu a Fellow of the Trinity College London
and a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music London is a well known
Singer, Pianist, Violinist, music director and choral director who has
performed both here and abroad. She has been teaching Piano and Singing
for 32 years and is presently a Lecturer at the University of Visual and
Performing Arts. Menaka has been featured as soloist with the Symphony
Orchestra of Sri Lanka many times as Pianist and Singer and she has
performed in several operas both here and abroad.
Don’t miss this delightful evening of music when Ambassador Phan Kieu
Thu and Menaka will enthrall you with renditions of songs such as You
Raise Me up, Fly me to the Moon and some Sri Lankan and Vietnamese
favourites amongst others. Collaborating with them at this concert are
well known musicians Sureka Amarasinghe and Dhanuksha Seneviratne.
Tickets will be available at the Russian Center.
Gala Swing Quartet for French Spring Festival
gypsy jazz band Gala Swing Quartet who is on tour in Sri Lanka as part
of the annual French Spring Festival will perform at the Galle Face
Hotel on June 24, 2016 at 7pm.
The gala Swing Quartet comprises four young French musicians from
Aix-en-Provence in the South of France; Alexis Desmarais (guitar),
Alexandre Florentiny (acoustic bass), Gaspard Doussière (violin) and Tom
Valdman (guitar). Accustomed to playing in the streets as well as in
concert halls, the band entertains their fans with a blend of original
compositions and arrangements of jazz hits standards by Stéphane
Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, and also with a touch of funk and a
touch of groove.