A show of Original Compositions and no frills

RukshanPerera- Live in concert 


Review by Harischandra Gunaratna

 The multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer, Ruskhan Perera proved his class and versatility once again performing, vocalising and scatting on his original compositions during a 2 ½ hour concert that kept the audience spellbound at Bishops College Auditorium.There were no gimmicks, fancy costumes, backup dancers or frills and it was all unadulterated music which was a treat to the ear.His repertoire ranged from pop, jazz, blues to fusion and a’capella, renditions and being a multi-instrumentalist,he enthralled the audience with his virtuosity, playing guitar, piano, flute and harmonica.

The concert began with a cleverly arranged musical piece - a perennial "Pelkavi," taken to another level with a touch of jazz by Rukshan and the musicians supported by the  Colombo Brass Ensemble. "We are brothers," by Rukshan and Melantha, was a tribute to their mother and music teacher Trila Perera, blessed with three musician sons who were her pride.The a’capellas had  complex harmony arrangements and he was joined in one of those by Voice Print,with his younger brother Melantha , another talented musician and multi instrumentalist and a  member of the popular group "Mirage".Another hit at the concert was Rukshan’s cleverly arranged string of popular hits of the 70’s in a’capella form to the delight of the discerning audience. His original jazz rendition of "What Time Is It" with some funny lyrics brought a ripples of laughter in the audience, and then Rukshan played a brilliant jazz solo on the piano to end the song.

 He also gave a rare treat to the audience with his scatting which would certainly have made Al Jarreau and George Benson proud of this Sri Lankan Scat Wiz.  Rukshan’s "Nursery Rhapsody", a complex composition with a string of Sri Lankan nursery rhymes in the flavor of the popular "Bohemian Rhaposdy," was brilliantly executed, with the harmony backing of the acapella group Voice Print. Natasha Ratnayake, Ishan De Lanerolle and MariazelleGunatillake joined Rukshan to add variety to the show by singing Rukshan’s compositions.

It also proved a point that Rukshan who has been in  the music scene for at least four decades, has come a long long way from his "Esquire Set" "Serendib" and  "Super Golden Chimes" days, by further adding blues, jazz and scatting to his multiple genres of music.

 "Triloka," which provided him the musical backing, was excellent with different melodious accompaniments to suit the occasion. The music aggregations consisted of some highly talented musicians, with Eshantha Peiris on piano, SaraniPerera on guitar,Uvindu Perera on bass,Milan John on keyboards, Harshan Gallage on drums, and Lelum Rathnayake on percussion.

 Ruskshan also played the role of a talent scout by providing the much needed exposure to young beatboxer Julius Mitchelle who gave a demonstration of the multiple instruments he produces with his voice much to the delight of the audience.A special mention must be made about the highly talented drummer, Harshan Gallage, who took the audience by storm with his clever and electrifying drum solo for Rukshan’s jazzed up Sri Lankan lullaby "DoiDoiDoi".RukshanPerera brought the curtain down to a well presented concert with "One Land For All," a song composed by him when the war came to an end in 2009.

Showbizman Damayantha Kuruppu should be complemented for organising a wonderful evening of music, .

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