August 12-14, 2016

Establishing its position as one of the most significant contemporary musical events in Colombo’s arts calendar, Musicmatters Festival is on for the fifth consecutive year this August.

The Musicmatters festival has gained a solid reputation for exposing Sri Lankans to music that is beyond the mainstream; music that is generally not accessible through radio and television, but is mesmerizing and inspiring to experience and deserves to be recognized for its original creative spirit and the dedicated musicians who perform it.

The festival is organized by a collective of musicians and faculty, affiliated to the performance based music school – Musicmatters. While teaching remains at the heart of the school’s mission, the festival is the organization’s most significant manifestation of its larger vision to nurture alternative platforms where non-mainstream musicians can present, create and collaborate.

Day 1: Friday, August 12th, 8pm

Continuing with a similar format to previous years, the festival will be staged over three days. It will open at the Goethe Institut with an intimate, and by far, the most experimental of the shows of the festival.

The featured artists artist for the opening evening is German double bass virtuoso and composer Sebastian Gramss. Gramss has been an active international performer in the field of contemporary and improvised music since 1988 and has released more than 20 albums under his name. His projects include solo works, duos, a Cologne-based quartet, an 11 piece international double bass ensemble and the Bassmasse orchestra with 50 bass players!

The evening will also feature improvised music by both local and international artists performing at the festival in different groups and formations.

Venue: Goethe Institut Hall, 8pm, Rs 500/=

See our facebook event for more details:


Day 2: Saturday, August 13th, 8pm

The line-up for Day 2 of the festival features several local and international groups performing original jazz influenced music from India, Europe and Sri Lanka.

Tarun Balani is a drummer, composer, percussionist and music educator living in New Delhi, India. In 2012, Tarun released his debut record Sacred World, said to “point to the future of jazz in India.” (Time Out, India).

Bernhard Geigl , German pianist, was recently featured in the Goethe Institut’s Musicmatters Showcase Evening. Bernard’s performance with the local trio with Sumudi Suraweera and Isaac Smith marks the end of his stay in Colombo where he has been residing for several months as an artist in residence at Musicmatters.

Adding a Sri Lankan element to the evening of jazzy contemporary music, the Serendib Sorceres and the Musicmatters Transcoastal Collective will present a special combined performance featuring folk music from the Western and Eastern parts of the island, reworked to a contemporary musical setting.

Miako Klein , Berlin based recorder and violin player, will be one of the foreign featured musicians in this group. Over the past couple of years, she has frequently visited Sri Lanka, initially as a musician for the production “The Past” followed by several Musicmatters initiated projects.

Venue: Barefoot Garden Cafe, 8pm, Rs 2000/=

See our facebook event for more details:


Day 3: Sunday, August 14th, 4pm

Musicmatters Festival 2016 - Day 3 features some of the festivals most prominent acts in a relaxed afternoon setting adjoining the CH&FC clubhouse on Maitland crescent.

DACH, a European jazz quartet consisting of David Six (piano) Mathias Ruppnig (drums), Andrii Prozorov (saxophone) and Ilya Alabuzhev (bass) from Austria and Ukraine. With an extensive list of past performances around European festivals,this is DACH’s first time in the Indian subcontinent. All four members of the band compose and contribute to create a modern, creative and contemporary sound with a respect to the tradition of improvised music.

The latest trio format of Baliphonics with Susantha Rupathilaka, Isaac Smith and Sumudi Suraweera allows deeper interaction among the three performers and is starting to separate this project as an entity of its own, from the original Sri Lankan low country Bali ritual, which the group draws upon so heavily.

Another highlight for this year is a performance by three kiwi musicians living across the globe (Misha Marks – Mexico, Reuben Derrick – New Zealand, Isaac Smith – Sri Lanka) along with a Sri Lankan with close ties to New Zealand (Sumudi Suraweera). Saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and field recordist Reuben Derrick’s influences are eclectic and employ both conventional and experimental procedures. Among his most recent achievements, in 2015 Dr. Derrick was awarded a Fulbright travel fellowship to the Music Omi residency in New York, where he collaborated with 13 creative musicians from around the world.

Misha Marks plays guitar, baritone horn, accordion, latarra (a homemade electric guitar made out of an old Mexican metallic first-aid box). Misha resides in Mexico City and is active indiverse scenes and has performed extensively across the world in festivals such as High Zero (Baltimore), No Idea Festival (Austin TX),Cha'ak'ab Paaxil (Mérida, MX), Wellington Jazz Festival, Om the Space(Wgtn, Chch, NZ), Visiones Sonroa (Morelia, MX). This quartet of musicians who have worked together for more than a decade will bring in their diverse experiences of recent years to present an exciting, eclectic set of original music with a strong element of improvisation.

The festival will close on a climax with the Musicmatters Collective coming together to perform a collection of simple, joyful Mexican party tunes from the mountains of Oaxaca!

Venue: CH & FC grounds, 4pm, Rs 2000/=

See our facebook event for more details:



Tickets can be purchased online on from the following links:
Day 1: Goethe Institute, Rs 500
Day 2: Barefoot Garden Cafe, Rs 2000
Day 3: CH & FC, Rs 2000

Or at any of the following outlets:
Sadeepa Bookshop - Borella
Sarasavi Bookshop - Nugegoda and Maharagama.
Yamaha Music Center – Colombo 07
Vanapetha Bookshop – Dehiwala.
Ranfer Tea Outlet - Colombo 03
Abans Plc – Main Branch at Colombo 03 Head Office at No. 85/10, Jawatta Road,Colombo 5
Cioconat Lounge - Colombo 7

For Festival passes and any further inquiries, please call Musicmatters on 011 454 6989.