Yolande Bavan, one of Sri Lanka's legendary success stories will perform in Colombo on Sunday, March 7. This concert, highly anticipated by jazz aficionados sees Yolande performing in aid of The Sunshine Charity accompanied by Dinuk Wijeratne, another Sri Lankan who is making waves at an early age.
A formidable presence in the world of contemporary jazz, Yolande first discovered jazz at the age of 14 and won her first competition singing for a radio programme, shortly after. When she became the vocalist in Australian legend Graeme Bell's band which launched her into the international jazz scene, there was no looking back.
For jazz fans and musicians the world over, Yolande was the epitome of class. Performing on an international stage in saree, she took Sri Lankan culture and merged it with international style and sophistication. Her career skyrocketed when she replaced jazz superstar Annie Ross in the top jazz vocal trio which became known as Lambert Hendricks and Bavan, headlining top spots in American jazz magazines and drawing sell-out crowds at the Newport and Monterey Jazz festivals beside stars like Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. In 2009, Yolande, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross were inducted to the Jazz Wall of Fame at the Lincoln Centre.
Ever versatile, Yolande also moved into acting shortly after her stint with Lambert, Hendricks and Bavan, taking roles in both films and television shows as well as on and off Broadway productions. She starred alongside Hollywood greats like Meryl Streep and Jodie Foster and in productions like 'Bombay Dreams', 'A Streetcar named Desire' and 'Caesar and Cleopatra'. Her performances were so powerful that the Oslo Nye Theatre created and wrote a role specifically to showcase her range and power as an actress and singer.
"A Jazz Evening with Yolande" at the Hilton Colombo, on Sunday, March 7 promises local jazz aficionados a one-on-one interaction with Yolande Bavan. Limited to a maximum of 450 guests, the concert is presented by JC's Entertainment.
The concert will raise funds for The Sunshine Charity, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy Sri Lankan children affected by the tsunami, the ethnic conflict and poverty in Trincomalee and at the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind, Ratmalana.
Accompanying Yolande on the piano will be Dinuk Wijeratne currently, Music Director of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. Recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts - Jean-Marie Beaudet award for orchestral conducting, Juilliard and Mannes scholarships, two Countess of Munster composition grants and the Sir John Manduell Prize - The Royal Northern College of Music's highest student honour - among many others, Dinuk is a rising star.
Alston Joachim and Christopher Prins will be accompanying Yolande on bass and drums. Together, Yolande and the trio promise a night that will stay with jazz lovers for years to come.