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Songs for Buddha Jayanthi

To commemorate the 2550th Buddha Jayanthi leading Sri Lankan singers and musicians have come together to release a special CD Budu Amavassa which was produced by Torana Music Box.

The CD was significantly released in time for Vesak and most remarkably the lyrics were written by Ven. Rambukkana Siddhartha Thera. The songs reflect the teachings of Buddha and the importance of following these teachings.

The CD is ideal for posterity since a host of singers and musicians have supported the cause and includes Victor Ratnayake, Gunadasa Kapuge, Karunaratne Divulgane, Neela Wickremasinghe, Premasiri Khemadasa, Latha Walpola, Deepika Priyadharshini, Rohana Weerasinghe, Edward Jayakody, Charitha Priyadharshini, Athula Adikhari, Samitha Mudunkotuwa and Apsara de Silva.

Fashion bonanza in London

Charmaine Jayatilake

Chula Nanayakkara

The much awaited day is finally here. Today, at 11.30am the fashion show featuring the latest Sri Lankan fashions designed by Chula Nanayakkara Ariyaratne will kick off to soft piped music and the sweet, homely aroma of Sri Lankan food at the Prince of Ceylon Restaurant, Hendal Central in North London.

The event organized by the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Countries League is sponsored by Etihad Airways (the national airline of the United Arab Emirates).

"My main aim is to promote tourism through my fashion collection. I want to show the world what a beautiful country I belong to" says Chula. The gorgeous collection of saris and summer wear she has designed will be modelled by twelve Sri Lankan undergraduates studying in British universities and two male models.

To quote Reggie Fernando in Newslanka, " ...some of the outfits will be in vibrant colours, quirky, elegant and sexy - ranging from dreamy blues to naughty reds..." and will relate not to high fashion but to accessible but glamorous clothes.

Organized by Charmain Jayatilake the show is surely the best way to herald the summer, now that spring is drawing to a close.

A Dixie Safari

New Orleans music over the years has a special place in the hearts of music lovers who enjoy the stomping sound of the wind instruments, the guitars, the acoustic drums and of course the vocals that were the platform for jazz to take off and develop.

When you hear the songs When the Saints Go Marching In, Bill Bailey, Ice Cream - your mind switches to New Orleans and to its music.

A band that has determinedly stuck to the New Orleans and Dixie land jazz in Norway is the seven piece Safari who performed recently in Sri Lanka at the Hilton, Colombo. Hailing from Norway, the band is led by the Sri Lankan saxophonist Ricky Senn who himself was a popular figure in Sri Lanka before he left with the Colombo Gems to perform in Norway.

Just before the Safari left Sri Lanka after their successful gigs here, we asked the members about their first experience playing to our audiences.

"We were happy and satisfied, the audience was greatly appreciative. Although it was holiday time here in Sri Lanka they made it to hear us," the group voiced in unison.

As to the question whether they would return, Ricky Senn replied "Yes, we would like to come back. The boys were extremely happy to be in the tropics to enjoy the wonderful sights of our land which I'm sure had a lasting impression, and to be honest, will take a long time to forget.

They are also full of praise for the excellent service by the staff of the Hilton - their helpfulness, friendliness, hospitality and the delicious food menus. Yes! they would all love to come back to Sri Lanka."

Safari's repertoire contained many of the well loved dixie melodies like Bye, Bye Blackbird, Blueberry Hill, Mack the Knife, Swing Low, also some of Sunil Santha's and C. T. Fernando's songs given a dixie thrust that was a pleasant surprise. Of course tunes taken from main-stream jazz too were included. All in all, it was an unforgettable dixie experience since all the members are professional musicians.

Safari comprises Ricky Senn - soprano and tenor saxes, Roy Wictor Bakke - trumpet, Per Gunnar Eidsor - trombone, Olav Aune - tuba, Gudmund Husby - piano, Rene Dalager - guitar and Helge Nilsen - drums.

Dinner Theatre - a resplendent evening

A distinguished gathering of old Thomians from S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, Gurutalawa, Bandarawela and S. Thomas' Preparatory School, Kollupitiya had what was described by many of those present as 'one of the most memorable times' in their lives on Saturday, May 7 at the Crystal Ballroom of Taj Samudra Hotel.

Founder / President of the Thomian Society of Colombo, Dr. Vijaya Corea, was indeed gleeful as he welcomed the 'house full' audience to the Dinner Theatre, which saw every ticket sold out eight days prior to the event. Dr Corea said : "Tickets selling like hot cakes have now become a hallmark of the activities of the Thomian Society of Colombo - a matter of pride for the entire membership."

The evening began with friendship and chatter and the clicking of glasses to the sound of 'cheers' as old Thomians, their guests and friends mingled with unprecedented cordiality. Then, with each in his/her seat, heads turned as the theatre was about to begin.

Playwright/Actor, Indu Dharmasena, fulfilled all expectations as the two dramas - Room to Let and Fortress in the sky produced ripples of laughter that enhanced the degree of relaxation that had already begun to fill the air.

The sit-down dinner was sumptuous. The fellowship was excellent. The Dinner Theatre of the Thomian Society of Colombo enjoyed the distinction of remaining an evening to remember.

Mothers' Day brunch

It is not too late, give your Mother a special surprise treat at the Cinnamon Grand today. Mothers' Day Brunch at the Taprobane will give her a day off from her kitchen. You can spoil her with an incredible all-you-can-eat spread - a great lunch offer which will go a long way to show how much she is loved and appreciated for everything she does throughout the year.

For memories there's a photographer on hand and also plenty of activities for the kids to surprise mum with a range of do-it-yourself cakes and candies. If you are thinking of a hamper - sure the Coffee Shop will help you. And if you want her to enjoy herself may be for a week, gift her with dinner vouchers so that she can dine in style any day she likes.

Mexican magic

If Tacos is your favourite spicy snack food and Mexico a place you long to visit, then, be a part of the Mexican experience at the Cheers Pub, Cinnamon Grand till the end of May.

It's all part of a Tacos and Corona promotion to entice you to make many returns. A wide choice of fillings for the Tacos like seafood, beef, chicken and sausage - all cooked in the traditional Maxican way. With the ice cold Mexican lager - and the get-one-free offer-chill out at the Cheers to lift your flagging spirits.!



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