Debonair Desmond De Silva continues to command the stage in his own inimitable style – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Debonair Desmond De Silva continues to command the stage in his own inimitable style – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Desmond De Silva

Desmond De Silva

  Desmond De Silva

Desmond De Silva

Desmond De Silva

 

Desmond De Silva

Trevine-Rodrigo

Trevine-Rodrigo

“Yanna rata wate” is one of Desmond De Silva’s favorite Sinhala hits that has plucked at the heartstrings of his numerous fans and endeared him over the decades, and although the rest of the lyrics has a decidedly different message, this could not be more profound in describing this tireless travelling globe trotter whose performances around the world continues unabated.

 For many years Desmond De Silva has personified an image like no other and the magnetism of his performances has seen him conquer frontiers that many others of his vintage fear to tread. His passion as a singer/ entertainer in this respect finds few parallels in versatility and continuity at a high level as consistently as he does.

 Possessing a down-to-earth demeanor is one of the weapons he has in his multi-faceted amoury for success. Capturing the audience with his clever choice of music and delivering it to perfection to fit the occasion is the other.

 Just this year he would complete nearly 30 gigs not just in Australia but around the world, shuttling from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary in Canada to Melbourne, on to London, several cities in USA, Sri Lanka, Sydney, Canberra and on it goes in a program that would give most mere mortals a dizzy head spin.

 What takes his audiences by surprise is the fact that he has been around the traps for a considerable length of time and you would expect that most would have tired of him. Not so in his case because every Desmond De Silva performance is laced with the unknown and an energy that is mind boggling. Such is the versatility and creative genius of this aging icon of Sri Lankan music. His repertoire, which is unlimited, is a case in point as he continually challenges himself to stay abreast with the changing trends in music and appreciates it.

 His uncanny ability to just step in and perform with any band is a characteristic that stumps most, mainly if it is a young band unnerved by the chance to back an icon of his nature. He breaks down barriers by encouraging the new breed using his vast experience to blend in seamlessly.

 From Ballads, to Rock -and- roll he can transcend to Raggae, Mowtown and Country making him one outstanding performer in any category. His prowess in Sri Lanka’s favourite Bailas is legendary and although dropping off the pace in his own new compositions at present, has produced enough culturally meaningful Sinhala hits that has and will live through Sri Lankan culture for many more decades to come.

 Just recently he was in Sri Lanka taking the hill country capital Kandy, by storm in what was described by producer Damayantha Kuruppu as one of the best events he has witnessed in his many years of productions. He had the Kandyans in a frenzy as he reeled out most of his Sinhala hits which has been etched in the minds of many generations.

 Evidence of his impact through Sinhala music could not have been demonstrated better than a recent incident at our residence when a young CCTV installer recognized him and was all agog revealing that he was a big fan who listened to his old hits at home every day. The young man then added to his story by saying that his three-year-old daughter was also a big follower of his hits going on to bring her back and getting her to perform in front of her idol, much to Desmond’s delight.

 Though the years roll on there is no sign of the popular singer’s demand waning and he says that he is blessed by the almighty to have been able to command the stage for as long as he has.

 Already indications are that he has a full calendar for 2019 as his limitless musical journey continues on its merry way.

 A summary of the hectic year was compiled and sent to me on request from wife Phyllis and it gives ample indication of Desmond De Silva’s brilliance as one of Sri Lanka’s best ever singer/entertainers and his continuing demand from adoring fans.

 > Year in Review for Desmond De Silva 2018.
>
> 12th January – in Vennuppuwe dance singalong for approx 650 pax

> 14th January – Concert at BMICH  to celebrate 100 concert events  produced by Damayantha Kuruppu

> 3rd March – Ananda/Nalanda big match SSC Cricket grounds in Sri Lanka – specially invited to perform at the Ananda College stand – had the crowd especially the younger crowd singing and dancing.

> March – 17th March St Paul’s Millagiriya dinner/dance in Sydney was a great success and tickets were sold out.  It was viewed as the best dance that SPM have ever had and Des was invited to perform for SPM Melbourne & London both engagements he could not accept due to clashes in his diary.
>
> April – 8th – Sinhala/Tamil New Year celebrations – Open Air Concert in Dandenong, Melbourne.  Amazing attendance and audience participation and appreciation.
>
> 21st April. – Joy Club inaugural Dance & Singalong at the Dutch Club Sydney.

> 24th April – Dinner Dance in Canberra on the eve of ANZAC Day was also another SOLD OUT event that had the Deputy High Commissioner  for Sri Lanka as Chief Guest.
>
> 5th May –  St Thomas College dance celebrating 150 years in Toronto Canada.  Tickets were sold out well in advance and the dance exceeded all expectations.  Reviews after the dance declared the entertainment provided by Desmond to be simply the best…..he gets better with age was the comment made by a guest.
>
> 12th May – Museaus College Dance in Melbourne
>
> 2nd June – Issipatana Dinner Dance in Melbourne.
>
> 13th July – recorded Ma Nowana Mame – a celebration of old Desmond’s favourites of songs by CT Fernando, Mohideen Baig, Dharmadasa Walpola and & Eddie Jayamana which went to air on 10th August on Derana TV and can been viewed on uTube.  Desmond received many accolades for giving these songs a new lease in life and introducing them to the younger generation.
>
> 14th July – Sing-along & Dance at Pegasus Hotel Sri Lanka
> >
> 21st July –  ‘Those were the days “Concert at BMICH.  Bringing back the music of the 60/70’s era with Mignonne Fernando, Noelene Honter, Conrad de Silva, Mariazelle Goonetilleke, Annesley Malawana, Maxi Rosairo, Priya Pieris and Desmond that had the audience entertained and asking for more.  By popular demand there will be part 2 of the concert lined up in 2019.
>
> 28th July – St Peter’s College dinner dance in Sydney – EVENT WAS SOLD OUT 3 MONTHS AHEAD.
>
> 4th August – EX- SERVICE & POLICE ASSOCIATION Dinner dance in Melbourne.
>
> 2nd Sept – ‘Yesterday Once More’ Singalong & Dance at the Golden Crown Hotel Kandy, Sri Lanka

 

> 7th Sept – Retro party at the Restaurant BMICH

 

> 8th sept – MAS Concert BMICH – backed by Mahesh Dennipitiya Orchestra

 

> 22nd Sept – Mahanama Dinner Dance Melbourne
>
> 6th Oct – Hantana Night – Desmond & his band the Impressions.
>
> 13th Oct – Invited to perform at Coyles Dinner Dance  (Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs)an exclusive event at the new 7 star Shangri La Hotel Colombo.
>
> 14th Oct – Fantasia Concert – Ave Maria Auditorium Negombo backed by Mahesh Dennipitiya Orchestra
>
> 20th October – Vancouver Canada

> 27th October – Calgary, Canada
>
> 3rd November – St Sylvester College Dance in Melbourne
>
> 24th November – St Peter’s College Dance in London
>
> 13th December – Clarence Wijewardene Commemoration Concert at Nelum Pokuna Sri Lanka
>
> 29th December – Dinner Dance in Sydney.
>
> 31st December – New Year’s Eve in Brisbane.
> >
> That’s year 2018 in in a nutshell  for Desmond De Silva!!!
>
> 2019 is shaping up to be an excitingly busy year too!  Des’s wife Phyllis has a full programme schedule in celebration of Desmond’s significant milestone birthday. Named DESMOND DE SILVA…..HIS JOURNEY is scheduled in July, followed by an Free Open Air concert in his hometown Matara.  A Gala concert at the BMICH will follow and an After Party Singalong Dance Meet, Greet & Celebrate with Desmond De Silva also planned for next year.  Celebrations will continue at venues around the world during the second half of 2019.

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