‘Wandering Minstrel’ Keith Potger at Country Roads

The Country Music Foundation, the organiser of the 2017 Country Roads concert for children, is proud to announce that globally-famous “Wandering Minstrel” Keith Potger, founder of The Seekers band, has been added to the line-up for this year’s 29th anniversary show. The Country Roads concert for children is scheduled for Sunday, March 19 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. 10x10-press-ad2-reference-01Says Keith on his upcoming performance at 2017’s Country Roads, “I am looking forward to visiting Sri Lanka.”


CMF and German Embassy support Moratuwa school for children with disabilities

The Country Music Foundation (CMF) and the staff from the German Embassy jointly organised an “Evening with the Mavericks and Astrid”, a musical evening at Barefoot, Colombo in October to raise funds for children.

The event was specifically to raise funds for Meth Mihira – School of Special Education, Koralawella -Moratuwa run by the Sisters’ Of Charity. Last week, a cheque for Rs. 250,000 was handed over to the charity by both organisations as proceeds from this event. Picture shows Karin Grimm from the German Embassy (centre) with Sister Ira Ellen from Meth Mihira. Also in the picture is Feizal Samath, Founder President of the CMF.

The children also displayed their talents through dance and other activities.


CMF helps Children’s Heart Project

The Country Music Foundation (CMF) last week presented a cheque for Rs. 250,000 to support the Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka which is working with the Cardiology team at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital.

Seen here is Dr. Duminda Samarasinghe, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at the LRH (right along with his team) receiving the donation from CMF Founder Feizal Samath (left).

These proceeds came from the organisation’s 22nd annual charity concert “Country Roads” held on October 11 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The CMF will also make donations this month to two other projects -the Meth Mihira School of Special Education at Koralawella, Moratuwa and the Kudaligama Maha Vidyalaya.


That good old country feeling

By Vinusha Paulraj

The Wild West Express took off last weekend at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The Country Roads Concert for Children 2015 launched its audience on yet another musical journey.

Supporting causes through music, this year’s edition raised funds for the Children’s Heart Project, Meth Mihira School of special needs education and the Kudaligama Central College in Kalutara.

Opening the show was well known ensemble- Cosmic Rays, followed by Sri Lankan songstress, Mariazelle Goonetilleke. A part of the first Country Roads in 1988 she told the audience that her involvement in the concert was “by chance.”

She remembered being invited on the Country Roads stage after a newspaper article shed light on her interest in the genre. Since those early days almost 30 years ago, Mariazelle has been a regular at Country Roads.

A major John Denver fan, English songbird Astrid Brook was also a familiar face in the line-up.

Her lilting voice added a mellow touch to the evening full of upbeat dance music. Starting-off with The Boxer by Paul Simon, she went on to render a few John Denver classics like For Baby and Coming Home.

Flying in faithfully from Germany for the past 15 years, The Mavericks kept the crowd going with their energetic presence.

Also making a welcome return to the Country Roads stage after six years was the seven-member group, Flame.

Sprouting out as early as the second edition of Country Roads, it was here that the band made its debut. Performing pumped-up dance numbers the group had the crowd on their feet.

Also earning warm applause were Country Roads founders Feizal Samath and Jury Majid. Their song for the children has continued to touch hearts.


Join Country Roads tonight!

Great country music is on the menu at the Mount Lavinia Hotel tonight. The Country Roads Concert for Children 2015 takes place at the Empire ballroom which will be redolent of the Wild West this evening.

Almost three decades since their first edition of Country Roads, the Country Music Foundation (CMF) continues its sterling efforts to raise funds for the children and tonight’s show promises a cheering evening of good old country favourites.

Flying-in to entertain country music fans of Sri Lanka from Germany, the Mavericks are a part of this evening’s line-up. This band’s high energy performances have now been on the Country Roads stage for over 10 years.

Joining the band since 2007 is solo artist Astrid Brook from the UK with her beautifully melodious voice.

For many local artistes going up tonight, Country Roads has brought them back home where they started. Popular band Flame which made its debut at the first concert in 1988 will return after an absence of six years.

Teaming-up with the Cosmic Rays for a special performance Sri Lankan songstress Mariazelle Goonatillake who will grace the stage tonight has also been a popular act since the show’s inception.

In keeping with the Country Roads tradition, the proceeds of this year’s show are to be shared among three beneficiaries.

The CMF plans to reach-out to the Children’s Heart Project for their much needed work at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, the Meth Mihira school of special needs education in Moratuwa and the Kudaligama Central College in Kalutara which is in need of musical instruments.

Donations can be made through http://www.help.lk. The Mount Lavinia Hotel has also thrown in a special offer for ticket holders.

They will be entitled to a 25% discount on the Theme Night Dinner Buffet at the Governor’s Restaurant tonight. Call the hotel on 2711711 ext 430/446 to make your reservations. The ticket needs to be produced at the outlet to claim the discount.


Last chance for ‘Country Roads’ tickets

Final preparations are underway for the 2015 Country Roads concert for children, with international artistes the Mavericks from Germany and the UK’s Astrid Brook already in Sri Lanka, and ready to wow the crowd. All that is needed is an enthusiastic and supportive audience for this highly unique Country and Western, and Folk, concert that is sure to entertain the whole family. So, don’t miss out. Take advantage of the last chance to be a part of the show by buying your tickets today.

Tickets for the concert, to be held on Sunday, October 11, 2015, are priced at Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 1,500, and can be purchased 24-hours-a-day from exclusive online ticketing partner TicketsLK, either online via http://www.tickets.lk or by dialling 444 on Dialog or 365 on Etisalat.

TicketsLK is also selling tickets via its partner outlets, including Sarasavi Bookshop, Nugegoda and Maharagama; Sadeepa Bookshop, Borella (on the road opposite the supermarket and near HNB), Wanapetha Bookshop, Dehiwela (next to HNB seaside), Yamaha Music Centre, and Cioconut Lounge, Colombo 7; and Abans Main Showroom, Colombo 3 (next to McDonalds Kollupitiya). Tickets are also being sold at Chamathka Jewellers at Crescat and Kandy City Centre and the TicketsLK Tickets Office, 113, 5th Lane, Colombo 3.

Tickets have also been made available at the Mount Lavinia Hotel front desk, where they will continue to be sold up to the start of the concert at 6.30pm this Sunday, as well as at the concert itself. Also, you can call Dhammika on 0112479319 during work hours to reserve tickets.

Backed by popular local acts Flame, Cosmic Rays and Mariazelle, the three-hour-long, music-packed Country Roads 2015 concert for children has its ultimate goal of raising in excess of Rs. 500,000 for three very deserving children’s charities that will be receiving all proceeds from this year’s concert, namely the Meth Mihira School of Special Education, Koralawella, Moratuwa, run by the Sisters’ Of Charity, the Children’s Heart Project of Sri Lanka, currently supporting the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital; and donations of musical equipment to Kudaligama Central College, Kalutara.

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Country Roads: Years roll by but the music plays on

By Vinusha Paulraj

There were familiar scenes at the Mount Lavinia Hotel last Tuesday as the hotel geared to welcome one of its favourite events. We were catapulted straight to the set of an Old Western film.

Expertly rolling-out their cowboys’ red-carpet of wooden barrels, cacti and bales of hay, the stage is all but ready for the Country Roads Concert for Children 2015.

“We try to put something more than music on the plate,” said President of the Country Music Foundation (CMF) Feizal Samath addressing a news conference on Tuesday at the hotel. The concert with a cause, has the proud record of being the longest-running musical show in Sri Lanka and South Asia. Country Roads 2015 will be held on Sunday, October 11.

CMF President Feizal Samath speaking at the news conference. On his right is William Lynch, Director Save the Children and on his left Harinda Weerasinghe, Resident Manager, Mount Lavinia Hotel

As much as the fans, Country Roads attracts its line-up of local and international guest performers.

Returning to the Country Roads stage “after around six years” is popular local favourite, the band Flame. Other well-known names joining the worthy cause are the Cosmic Rays and Mariazelle.

Energetic performances by German band- Mavericks and Astrid Brook’s soulful tones are part of this year’s celebration. The Mavericks have been an integral part of Country Roads for around 12 years now and have immersed themselves not only in the music but in the causes supported by CMF in Sri Lanka.

“The concert is getting old as are its organisers,” quipped Mr. Samath while stressing that new causes and good music keep the team motivated.

This year’s beneficiaries are to include Meth Mihira School of Special Education in Koralawella- Moratuwa, the Children’s Heart project for their work with the Lady Ridgeway Hospital and Kudaligama Central College Kalutara which is a school in need of musical instruments.

The show apart, a few added events will also raise funds for the cause. The Mavericks and Astrid are to serenade guests at a dinner hosted by the German Embassy, on October 9. Proceeds of this dinner too will be for the causes supported by the CMF.

Dirk from the Mavericks and Astrid Brook will also share their journey with Country Roads, at an exclusive dinner at Rs. 10,000 per plate, for 50 guests on October 10 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Speaking at the launch Country Director of Save the Children, William Lynch shared that funds generated by Country Roads last year were devoted to developing a standard of nutrition for children in the hills. “16 out of the 23 CEOs in the plantation sector needed little convincing to come on board,” he said.

Currently both state parties and independent collectives like the Planters Association are now actively working to market a clean, premium Ceylon tea which is produced in nutrition-conscious environments.

Tickets for the Country Roads Concert for Children 2015 can be purchased online at http://www.tickets.lk, via SMS and in selected stores. Crowd-funding is also possible if you wish to make a donation, at http://www.help.lk.