’’Harmony for Little Hearts” : Rukshan & Melantha Perera Shine in Debut Joint Concert

Feb 07 2024.

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Entertaining a full house of an audience with timeless hits from the '60s, '70s, and '80s in the evening of 3rd of February was Rukshan and Melantha Perera,  performing at their debut joint concert “Harmony for Little Hearts" which successfully took place at the Bishop’s College Auditorium, Boyd Pl, Colombo 03.

Organised as a joint initiative by the Rotary Clubs of Colombo Fort, Colombo Metropolitan and Colombo West with the core mission of contributing lifesaving equipment to the Little Hearts Cardiac Critical Care Complex of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, “Harmony for Little Hearts" with Rukshan & Melantha in concert, ambitiously aimed to raise LKR 3 million as a fundraiser, thereby inching towards the national dream of creating a “hub of excellence in pediatric cardiology” in Sri Lanka.

The Perera brothers welcomed their audience with an opening duet, walking down the crowded auditorium from the audience towards the stage performing the 1976 hit single "Music (Was My First Love)” by John Miles.  The evening was then converted to a musical fiesta with both Rukshan and Melantha performing songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s from well-known artists such as the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, Neil Diamond, Santana, and a few Sinhala favourites. 

One performance that definitely seemed to become the audience's absolute favourite was Melantha Perera’s presentation of the song "Islands in the Stream" a song written by the Bee Gees and recorded by American country music artists Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Performing the hit song adorning a half-male and half-female attire, Melantha enthralled the audience with both his vocals and visual performance, earning loud and cheerful applause from his viewers. Not falling behind was Rukshan’s performance of “Piano Man” by Billy Joel in which he played both the piano and harmonica simultaneously. The concert also included solo, and duet performances by both brothers, acapella and very entertaining comedic stage acts. Three children from Little Sopranos music school performed a song named “She’s Waiting for You”(specially composed by Rukshan for the fundraiser), a tribute by the playback band to the Beatles through a performance of the Beatles Medley, and a presentation about the Little Hearts project by Dr Duminda Samarasinghe – Consultant Pediatric Cardiologist at Lady Ridgeway Hospital Project, Sushena Ranatunga – Director of Little Hearts and Dinali Dandeniya–Past President of Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan.

In Sri Lanka, nearly 3000 infants die before they reach their first birthday due to congenital heart disease (CHD) and other critical illnesses. However, with proper resources, this number has been found to be capable of being significantly reduced. Little Hearts is a campaign to collect funds to expedite the construction of Lady Ridgeway Hospital’s Cardiac and Critical Care Complex which will provide timely treatment to children in need and help reduce one of the main causes of infant mortality in the country.

Spotlighting the fundraiser with their captivating performances were the Perera brothers, who are no new names in the Sri Lankan music industry,  Born into a musical family and inheriting its talent without a hitch is composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and singer Rukshan Perera who got his first piano lesson at the tender age 5 from his mother. Becoming a self-taught guitarist and forming his first band by the age of ten, Rukshan soon became recognised enough to begin performing over the Radio Ceylon. As a young teenage musician still studying at the Royal College, Colombo he then joined the famed band “The Super Golden Chimes' fronted by Sri Lanka's 'King of Pop' Clarence Wijewardena as a keyboardist. Rukshan is also affiliated with many other popular local bands such as The Golden Chimes, Esquire Set and Serendib. Rukshan returned from the US to Sri Lanka almost a decade ago, milestoning his return with his own single “Coming home to you”. Upon his return, he launched his “Rukshan Perera Live in Concert” series captivating audiences with a wide mix of Jazz, blue,po, acapella, fusion and Sinhala songs.

Born to the same musical family 8 years after Rukshan was Melantha Perera, inheriting this same talent and passion towards music. Receiving his first piano lesson from his mother and his first guitar lesson from his brother at 5, Melantha was just 8 years old when he first performed in front of a large audience playing lead guitar and keyboards. After completing school Melantha started performing with known bands such as the Catseye, Pearl, Jade, Kings, and Clan and then went on to become a founder member of the famous band Mirage. Melantha has spent 8 years performing in Europe and 13 years in Dubai UAE performing to varying audiences and has also performed in Australia, Zambia, Oman, the UK, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Qatar. On top of being a multi-instrumentalist and a vocalist with multiple talents, Melantha is also a composer and a recording engineer. He is currently serving the post of Managing Director of his own enterprise-Riversheen School of Music.

Photographs - Waruna Wanniarachi 


Shahareen Hilmy - “The performance was excellent. This is the first time I actually watched a performance by the Perera Brothers and I must say they were very very good”

Ramani Rajapakshe- “ I should start by saying the performance was lovely. Rukshan has a lot of personality on stage and so does Melantha who is wonderful. I am very happy to be able to contribute to the foundation through the event”

Harshini Nadesan Struys- “It was a superb show. Really enjoyed the repertoire. Since the show is for a very good cause, it feels wonderful to be present here and support it. Both Melantha and Rukshan have a diverse variety of songs, and they cover a wide range of music... From Billy Joel to Neil Diamond…it's like there was something for everyone present here.”

Lalith De Silva (from Canada)- “I definitely feel that this concert was very different from the others. I feel very glad to see the Western genre performed so well here in the country. Great performance, great players. This proves Sri Lanka has the best musicians in the world”.

Ayomi - “The performance was fantastic. Such an entertaining show. I am really very happy my daughter Hesandi (who was one of the performers of “She’s Waiting for You”) could contribute to this very worthy cause”.

Chaya Dissanayake - “It was a lovely performance. A lot of effort has clearly gone into bringing this show to the people. There is music, drama, entertainment and of course the very worthy cause which I believe everyone should be made aware of. My favourite act was definitely Melantha’s performance of “Islands in the Stream''. It was brilliant and very well executed!

Manusha Perera - Really enjoyed the show. Rukshan as always entertained the crowd very well and Melantha was so great with his dual-attired performance. I really loved it!

Supporting performers of the night - Sanjeev Jayaratnam, Jaya, Himali & Radhini

“Feeling fabulous and phenomenal and many other things. It was wonderful to perform in front of such an interactive audience and also for getting the opportunity to share the stage with the extraordinary Perera brothers”



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