sri lanka the music project

When music connects – The Jaffna Music Festival

This little island nation is starting to grow on me. Last May I returned to Sri Lanka for additional two weeks and fell further in love with the country. Its landscapes are incredible, the wildlife and natural environment vibrant and lush, its history immense and heartbreaking, and overall its vision of prosperity and a strong feeling of the desire to reunite a once torn land that continues to impress and make me want to return again.

I came back to Sri Lanka to document the amazing story of The Music Project. I had visited the Music Project once before and knew it was (is) the perfect initiative to cover for one specific episode of the online documentary series Travel Global Think Local. The Music Project embodies all of these values we wish to share through TGTL, along with passionate and dedicated people and an incredible story of reunification through education and the shared power of music. To learn more of The Music Project, follow the link.

When researching the production schedule and travel times, I wanted to make sure we were arriving for one of the Music Project’s Unite Programs. The Unite Program is when the two groups of school children come together to play a communal concert for their friends and family. It is a fantastic initiative and highlight of the year for everyone involved.

Normally there are only a few Unite Programs annually, however sometimes they get lucky and add an additional concert at either the Galle Childrens Festival or Jaffna Music Festival. As it turned out the dates we were planning the production happened to fall perfectly in line with the Jaffna Music Festival. We were going to document the kids playing not only in front of friends and family, but also in front of dozens of international musicians. Amazing!

With the knowledge of the Jaffna Music Festival definitely going ahead and the kids playing in the capital of the north, I was more than excited to return to Sri Lanka and capture this event. It really acts as the perfect climax to an amazing story, the two groups of school children learning their individual roles within the orchestra, then coming together to practice and develop their skills, then the opportunity to unite with their peers and play in front of a large crowd at an international festival, and all this at just the average age of 11. It is really incredible to see this transition and the passion shared amongst everyone associated with The Music Project.

The Jaffna Music Festival happens once every two years, (this year it was held on May 30th, 2015) and draws acts from all over Asia. Performers and spectators flock to northern Sri Lanka to watch and participate in the event, sharing their culture and talent among like-minded and energetic people. It is a wonderful undertaking and felt like a privilege to attend.  It must have been absolutely amazing for the children of the Music Project, having the opportunity to perform in front of such a creative crowd and to share their love for music. It was an experience they obviously relished and enjoyed thoroughly.

The performance of the Music Project children at the 2015 Jaffna Music Festival was well deserved opportunity to share their talent and another solid testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in this wonderful initiative. It was an added Unite Program and brought the families and teachers from the North and South together once again, acting as the means to help reunify a once torn country and create a stronger and better future for the small island nation I continue to see growing in prosperity.  Sri Lanka has been a wonderful travel experience yet again and I owe that to The Music Project, the kids, and their incredible performance at the 2015 Jaffna Music Festival.

Istuti and Nanri,


If you liked the story on this powerful project, make sure you watch my Documentary Pilot Series!