By Dhananjani Silva
The traditional folk artistes from the northern region of Sri Lanka are today an enthusiastic group making preparations for that grand comeback after almost three decades of oblivion. Jaffna Music Festival 2011 scheduled to be held from March 25-27 in the city of Jaffna will present a wonderful opportunity for folk artists from the Jaffna peninsula, who could not perform due to the environment that prevailed there during the war with the LTTE, to showcase their skills.
The festival will take place amidst a folk village camp setting which is built surrounding the main stage, explained the coordinator Jaffna Music Festival, Ramesh De Saram. The artists will lead simultaneous performances from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. followed by a daily main stage act from 4.p.m to 10 p.m. each day.
Colourful performances from the Jaffna Peninsula such as Kappat Paatu, Papiravaham, Chinthunadai Koothu, Villu Paattu, other forms of dance varieties representing Sri Lankan traditional arts such as famous mask dances, Kohombakankariya, Thovil, Muslim group performances, puppetry, stick dances, estate sector performances will also spice up the music festival, he added.
International folk music groups from Norway, India, Palestine, Nepal, and South Africa will also be featured. A series of village performances have also been lined up in February leading up to the final festival in March.
There will be open forum workshops with discussions on sound engineering, said artistic director Arunthathy Sri Ranganathan. Preserving our local musical heritage apart, the event promotes regional music cooperation and exchange of knowledge on folk arts, she added.
The Jaffna Music Festival is organised as a sister event of the Galle Music Festival held in 2009 and the event will alternate between Galle and Jaffna. It is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Sewalanka Foundation and Aru Sri Art Theatre. Concerts Norway are implementing partners while Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, the main media sponsors will broadcast three performances island wide.
The event is open to the public free of charge. More details can be obtained via