Jazz at the Mount; Mount Lavinia Jazz Festival give rave reviews

** Crowd attending the first ever Jazz at the Mount entertained into the morning hours by internationally renowned artists **

Vocalist and guitarist, known to be a calm and easy going “Galkissa Boy” however his voice swelters forth is so intense and upbeat swung his audience into a mood of exhilaration, Jerome Speldewinde, was one of the exciting closing night acts who set the tone for this year’s Jazz at the Mount with his fabulous version of, “What’s going on” by Marvin Gaye. That same sentiment and high energy level continued throughout the weekend festival, as world class performances showcased the unique mix of musical styles and blend of local, and international musical artists for which the Jazz at the Mount will definitely be known for.

Dylan Lye, a much respected modern jazz guitarist, moved over to Hongkong with the Jetliners in the early eighties.   A most sought after guitarist in the island with the talent of   synonymous vocalizing while improvising on the guitar, ended the nights, which also featured a group of Asian Jazz Greats, Anthony Fernandes, Tsang Tak Hong, Adonis de Jesus Hassan Musafer, softening the evening with contemporary singer Jennifer Palor who has taken the Asian jazz world by storm, who’s voice on the first night pressed the crowd up to the front of the stage, eager for more and indeed on the last night a duet with Jerome Speldewinde that drove the crowds to a dancing mood.

Eventhough Saturday drew the largest crowd, with Jags Quartet, Friends in Jazz, Upula Madushanka and Funk avenue featuring Rakitha Wickremeratne, followed by Jean Van Heer Quintet, Kumar De Silva Trio, and the best of the local artistes segment with Jazz venture belting out hit after hit, much to the delight of the appreciative audience ended with a conscious note. “The vibes of the people at Jazz at the Mount alone says it all,” said
Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. “They were so eager to participate and get into the act. There’s nothing but support and togetherness.”

Sunday saw The Jazz Quartet, whom trace its origins to its founder Grant Chamberlain, bringing a fresh sound and avid following who rarely stopped wanting for more on the night of the event. Jazz Unlimited’s own band Divya, also kept the festival mood in high spirits. Celebrity guest Mignonne Fernando with Grooving High brought back the nostalgia to the air that Sri Lanka is in dire need of. Closing the final night of the local artiste segments were the sultry voice of Natasha Ratnayake effortlessly tackled nuances of Jazz, Blues and R&B, along with the soulful vocal style of Dillain Joseph.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Mr Bernard Goonetilleke stated, “Jazz at the Mount was an interesting experience and we appreciate Mount Lavinia Hotel taking the initiative to give Sri Lanka a taste of Jazz. Also providing much needed entertainment to the island. He also adds, “And we hope that next year we could take on an active role to be part of this festival.”

“Sunday night was the best. The organizing and the atmosphere was fabulous.” states Mr Murad Ismail, renowned architect in Sri Lanka.
Throughout the two nights of the Festival, both the performing artists and the partying audience paid tribute to Mr Tita Nathanielsz. And as Mr Aruna Siriwardhana, President of the JU stated, “who would have love to witness the realisation of his long held dream for the JU to present a substantial Jazz event.”

Located in close proximity to the city, on a rocky promontory overlooking the beautiful bay of Galkissa, Mount Lavinia Hotel gracious, elegant and romantic as ever, the Hotel attracts travellers from all over the world, the expatriate community and the locals, remains the most sought after location for weddings and honeymoons….unsurprising, considering its history and location. The unusually extensive beach frontage with indeed a spectacular view of the ocean is an incredible setting for the perfect Jazz Festival, that is nothing short of picture perfect.

Rooted in Mount Lavinia Hotel’s legacy of churning out fabulous initiatives, Jazz at the Mount was indeed a logical fit.

The General Manager avers, “Plans are already underway for 2010’s Jazz at the Mount. However, marketing it internationally will begin six months ahead of the game.”

The main partners of this 2009’s Jazz at the Mount were Jazz Unlimited, together with SriLankan Airlines as the official travel sponsor along with Wijeya Newspapers as print media sponsors and electronic media sponsors solely to YES FM and MTV.

Mount Lavinia Hotel amongst the  REWE Touristic launch of summer 2010 brochures launch of ITS, JAHN REISEN & TJAEREBORG which started last week. Around 1500 travel agents were involved with this brochure launch. Here is the team from Sri Lanka consisting of SriLankan Airlines, and Thakshila Galapatthhy from Mount Lavinia Hotel flanked by others from the travel trade in Sri Lanka, on the first day at Palma de Mallorca, Spain

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