Award-winning artist & composer
My world is centered around
An endless passion for music, for voices,
for discovery, for people, for life.
Nilusha Dassenaike, vocalist extraordinaire...
Warrick McFayden THE AGE
Dassenaike’s ethereal voice floats over the top like an ocean wave…
Leon Gettler AUSTRALIAN JAZZ NET
Nilusha’s voice has to heard to be believed...
Greg Phillips AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
Nilusha Dassenaike is a Sri Lankan-born Australian singer and composer who weaves her south Asian musical roots into her compositions, along with extended vocal techniques, electronics, improvisation and mindfulness.
Originally from Melbourne, Nilusha relocated to New York City in 2017 and performed extensively with the Resistance Revival Chorus, Avant-Garde composer Sxip Shirey, choreographer/vocalist Ellen Fisher (Meredith Monk) and her original project, NiCo Electro.
Nilusha has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Barclay Centre for Oprah’s Book Tour, The Apollo Theatre for Harry Belafonte’s 93rd Birthday, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (with Jim James), The Lincoln Centre for Women in the World Summit, Jazz at Lincoln Centre, National Sawdust The Knitting Factory, Rockwood Music Hall, Summer Stage at Central Park, Spotify, TEDx Talks, She has also performed with Hugh Jackman, Angelique Kidjo, Amanda Palmer, Natalie Merchant, Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie), Deval Mahal, Me’shell N’degeocello and Rita Ora. Recent virtual performances include Ruth Bader Ginsburg– Honor Her Wise and the Biden/Harris Inauguration.
New York City is where NiCo Electro began, her co-led experimental electronica project with programmer and producer Colin Snape. They have released three singles and have an upcoming debut album in the works.
She has also released four albums to critical acclaim, The Lotus Verses, which reflects the unique coupling of Sri Lankan folk music, contemporary jazz and extended vocal techniques. The award-winning album Tales To Tell, which received the Premio Internacional award at the Cuban Music Awards (Grammy equivalent) in Cuba, Moments in Time and Afterglow which featured jazz guitar legend, Mike Stern (Miles Davis Band).
Nilusha has performed at jazz and folk festival festivals internationally, including America, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Australia and Cuba and has supported artists such as jazz heavy weights Christian McBride, Larry Carlton and bass and voice virtuoso Richard Bona.
She has garnered vast studio recording experience from jingles on radio and television and has arranged vocals and performed on shows such as X-Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, Singing Bee, Celebrity Singing Bee, It Takes Two.
A passionate teacher with over 20 years of experience, Nilusha has taught at some of Australia’s top Universities and Colleges and has now launched her own transformative and intergrative method of voice, body and soul – Sathiya Singing which combines mindfulness, wellness and singing.
Nilusha is the music coordinator/arranger for the Resistance Revival Chorus and currently directs Rockefeller Centre Sings which she developed and launched in 2019 in conjunction with the Rockefeller Centre and producer Holly Hunter.
She has a Master of Philosophy in Traditional Sinhala Folk Music and is currently in Melbourne with her partner Colin Snape and their dog Che-Chi.
The Lotus Verses
Primed with a pure velvet voice that crosses two languages and composing and arranging skills that weave together a rare synthesis of contemporary jazz and Sri Lankan folk music, Nilusha Dassenaike has crafted a debut album that takes an entirely fresh approach to contemporary vocal improvisation by integrating elements of soul and pop with the rich traditions of jazz, world music and so much more. The album also features performances by a selection of Australia’s finest creative musicians, Alex Pertout, Luke Howard, Andrea Keller, Peter Petrucci, Miroslav Bukovsky, Christopher Hale and Craig Newman.
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