Dr.  Sumudi Suraweera

PhD (music), BMus (hons) jazz, Dip jazz, BSc (computer Science).

Sum profile 2017

Suraweera obtained his PhD – in the discipline of ethnomusicology – in 2010 from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. His research focused on Sri Lankan Low-Country traditional drumming. Prior to this, he completed a Bachelor of Music in jazz, majoring in drums, with first-class honours. Suraweera has been a performing jazz musician in New Zealand for ten years and has performed in some of the major Arts and Jazz Festivals around New Zealand. Ensembles led by Suraweera such as Baliphonics, Serendib Sorcerers and Musicmatters Transcoastal Collective tend to draw upon Sri Lankan traditional music, placing it in a contemporary setting.


Sri Lankan Music on BBC’s World Routes

PhD Dissertation on Low Country Drumming

Baliphonics on Youtube

Musicmatters Transcoastal Collective on Youtube


Eshantha Peiris

Eshantha Peiris (MA – composition & film scoring, BMus – piano performance, Dip – ABRSM piano).

Eshantha profile

Eshantha Peiris had his secondary education at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo, and graduated from New York University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Performance and Composition. His music teachers over the years have included Ramya de Livera Perera, Ananda Dabare, and Eduardus Halim.

As a musician, Eshantha is interested in understanding various musical styles in their original contexts, and using this knowledge to bring a fresh perspective to contemporary performance. This approach influences his work as a collaborative pianist and conductor (of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, and the vocal ensembles The Old Joes Choir and Contempo), and with the rock group Triloka which experiments with Sri Lankan folk music.

Eshantha’s discography includes two albums of Brazilian classical music recorded with flautist Celina Charlier, and two albums of original fusion music recorded with the band Thriloka.

Eshantha is currently on a sabbatical from teaching and is studying towards a doctorate in music at the University of British Columbia in Canada.



Kristina Fernando


Residential International Tutor

Isaac Smith

B.Mus.(jazz performance).


Isaac Smith is a New Zealand born musician, Double Bass player and composer with a passion for improvised and creative music. Having extensive experience across a multitude of performance based artistic disciplines, Isaac has cultivated and encompasses a unique, integrated approach to music and teaching with a deep interest in addressing many philosophical, practical and personal aspects of learning and performance. Isaac holds a bachelor of Jazz Performance Double Bass from the New Zealand School of Music and currently resides in Sri Lanka as the foreign instructor at Musicmatters.



Past and Present International Guest Tutors

Derek Beckvold

B.Mus. (saxophone).


Derek has extensive performance experience throughout the Northeast United States and Greater Boston area in a wide range of music. Teaching period: 2013 Feb-March, 2014 Jan-Aug.


James Wylie

M.Mus.(jazz performance).


Saxophonist, clarinetist and composer James Wylie, currently based in Greece, grew up in New Zealand and was introduced to music through classical repertoire at a young age. Teaching period: 2012 Jan-April.


Borey Shin



Borey Shin performs on synthesizer, piano, accordion and laptop computer. He composes acoustic chamber music and has a keen interest in working with film and video. Teaching period: 2014 Sept-Dec


David Six

M.Mus.(jazz performance).


With a special interest in composing his own music, David has developed an innovative approach to improvisation and creative interpretations of classical pieces. Teaching period: 2015 Jan-April


Rosie Langabeer

B.Mus.(jazz performance).


Rosie Langabeer is an award wining New Zealand composer, experimental musician and instigator with a taste for things that teeter across the intersection of the serious and the absurd. Teaching period: 2015 April-May


Povel Widestrand

B.Mus.(jazz performance).

Povel staff profile

With a solid background in both Classical and Jazz piano, swedish pianist Povel Widestrand’s interest is currently more focused towards spontaneous music. His trio in Berlin – the Holon Trio – won the 7th European Burghauser young Jazz Prize in 2015. Teaching period: 2015 Sept-Dec

Website: Facebook/Holontrio

Bernhard Geigl 

B.Mus.(jazz piano and jazz composition).

Bernhard Geigl.jpg

Bernhard Geigl was born in Munich and grew up in Oman. He spent his school days in Bavaria and attended the Berufsfachschule for music “music college” in Regensburg. At the Anton Bruckner private university in Linz, he studied instrumental pedagogy, jazz piano and jazz composition, and completed both master studies with distinction.


Phillip Rist

B.Mus.(jazz performance).


Austrian pianist Phillip Rist has appeared in a number of European Festivals in groups as well as a soloist at a relatively young age. He was recently awarded the “Young Masters Scholarship” of the Outreach Academy (Schwaz/Tyrol). Teaching period: 2016 Jan-April

Website: Facebook/Philliprist

Brian Allen



Originally from Texas, Brian Allen performs as a solo trombonist, in duo with Jacob Koller and Hernan Hecht, with Brainkiller and other artists in creative music such as Dave Ballou, Cyro Baptista, Anthony Braxton, Gerald Cleaver, Mark Dresser, Ellery
Eskelin, Satoko Fujii, Drew Gress, Dominique Leone, Tony Malaby, Tom Rainey, Roswell Rudd, Nate Wooley and Creative Opportunity Orchestra. He has performed across North America, Europe and Japan at Roulette, The Stone, Porgy & Bess (Vienna), Les Siestes Electroniques (Toulouse), Gezmataz (Genova), Vive Latino, Festival Aural (Mexico City), Bang On A Can Marathon, College of Santa Fe Electroacoustic Festival, Carnegie Hall and CBGB’s.


Local Tutors




Yohan Jayasooriya – Drums, Piano, Theory, Ensemble






Dinuka Jayasooriya – Guitar, piano, Theory, Ensemble









Sarani Perera – Guitar, Piano, Theory, Ensemble









Uvindu Perera – Guitar, Drums, Piano, Theory, Ensemble








Harin Amirthanathan – Voice








Shevon Mendis – Voice







Niroshan De Silva – Drums








Pradeep John – Guitar, Piano, Ensemble







Sachi Gamage – Guitar, Theory, Ensemble








Shehan Devdos – Guitar, Drums, Theory, Ensemble








Darshana Amarasinghe – Violin









Hasrshan Gallage – Drums








Amila Sandaruwan – Guitar, Theory, Ensemble








Amal Abeygunawardene – Guitar, Theory









Asoka Indrasiri – Voice






Johanne Peiris – Piano

Navindri Ratnatunga – Piano

Renuka Shriyantha – Vioiln, Guitar

Milinda Perera – Guitar, Theory

Joshua Goonathilaka – Guitar