Sumudu Jayatilaka

Sumudu JayatilakaSumudu is a singer-songwriter of Sri Lankan descent, born in Barnsley, who grew up in Scunthorpe and now lives in London. From a young age she learned to play many instruments including the piano, violin, guitar, flute and accordion.

At fifteen she made her BBC Television debut, singing one of her own songs, and, while studying medicine at Sheffield University, went on to occupy the vocal chair in NYJO from 1997 to 2000, during which time she earned a reputation as a formidable singer. She recorded her debut album with the band – Who’s Blue – in 1999.

Sumudu was chosen to sing live in front of the Queen and millions of TV viewers worldwide for the Millennium countdown celebrations at the Dome in London. She also sang the classic song Alfie for Burt Bacharach & Hal David at a special Tribute Concert held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where she shared the bill with Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello and Sir Bob Geldof.

Other performances have seen Sumudu singing for Disney at the BBC Proms in Hyde Park and residencies at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.

Sumudu’s self-written debut album Waiting For You (2011) was made with Grammy Award winning producer Kipper (Sting/James Taylor). On this folk and roots influenced album, which received high praise from the acoustic music press – with comparisons to Eva Cassidy, Karen Carpenter and Alison Krauss – Sumudu plays most of the instruments.

She was a featured artist on the soundtrack for a film written by Fabrizio Ferri called Anima in which she also appeared. The soundtrack was recorded at Abbey Road with the London Symphony Orchestra and features Fabrizio Ferri’s own compositions as well as songs co-written with producer Kipper and Sting, who also appears on the soundtrack.

She has opened for Mica Paris, Curtis Stigers, Ron Sexsmith and Mark King on a UK tour and has collaborated with the arranger and trombonist John Aram (Phil Collins) on his tribute to Stevie Wonder album. She has also worked with UK jazz piano legend Jason Rebello (Sting/Jeff Beck) as well as Level 42 founder members Mike Lindup and Phil Gould and appears on Mike’s release One the One.