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Jazz For Peace

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 13, 2003
New York, NY

About the Author:

Jazz For Peace

(www.geocities.com/jazzforpeace/)
Rick DellaRatta Trio
With
Rick DellaRatta on Piano and Vocals
www.interjazz.com/dellaratta

René Hart on Bass
Andrew LaSalla on Drums
At
Jazz on the Park
36 West 106th Street
Btw. Manhattan Avenue and CPW

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 13, 2003

(Quotes from Jazz for Peace Website)
Mission

"Jazz For Peace is people helping people advance to their highest potential. From promoting the use of Jazz as a universal language to spreading peace through our "Jazz For Peace Concerts" worldwide. We are joining forces with multi-cultural musicians to spread peace through the art of Jazz and entering regions that are politically controversial."

"Jazz For Peace provides live concerts, video taping, hands on/on-line teaching and supplies musical instruments to under-privileged children worldwide. "

"Jazz For Peace re-enforces what history has proven - Jazz creates a positive effect that unites people and transforms the barriers of different cultures and beliefs."

History

"On September 25, 2002 Jazz Pianist and Vocalist Rick DellaRatta was invited to lead a band consisting of Israeli, Middle Eastern, European, Asian and American Jazz musicians in a concert inside the UN for an international audience. Rick named this band "Jazz For Peace" and has continued these concerts at Jazz on the Park every Saturday in NYC. Jazz For Peace concerts have featured Rick DellaRatta along with such notable jazz artists as Paquito D'Rivera, Victor Lewis, Lenny White, Eddie Gomez, Ray Mantilla, Rick Margitza and many others. Jazz For Peace has also performed at numerous other venues in and outside of Manhattan including the West Coast and Europe." Read more about Rick DellaRatta on www.geocities.com/jazzforpeace.

Rick DellaRatta is a man of conscience and conviction. His Jazz for Peace Trio often performs at benefits for non-profit organizations. Tonight's concert was a benefit for www.animalhavenshelter.org. Jazz on the Park is located downstairs at a Jazz Hostel, in a modest, unassuming space, but with heart and warmth of spirit.

Tonight, Rick DellaRatta opened the first set with an original piece, which was a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie (who actually was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree from Columbia University during my own Doctoral graduation.) Rick handed the lead to his superb bass player, René Hart, as this abstract, but melodic and rhythmic piece showcased the band early on. Rick sings with words and scat, and he plays with passion. The second piece, more contemporary, with a sometimes Brazilian, sometimes Cha Cha beat, was very pleasant and buoyant. Rick is a seasoned and sophisticated pianist.

The following piece was influenced by Miles Davis and composed by Rick. The strong piano lead included lightning trills, followed by René's smooth bass passages, with a counterpoint to the piano. In Let's Get Lost, Rick sang with a throaty, bluesy style, accompanied by soft percussive brushes by Andrew LaSalla. The Brazilian Samba, sung by Rick in Portuguese, reminded me of my Brazilian Samba lessons with Carlos Porto (See March 8, 2003 Carlos Porto at You Should Be Dancing Studio). Andrew's subsequent drum riff used lots of steel.

Rick's next melodic lead, in a contemporary song, was a takeoff on The Wizard of Oz song, If I Only Had a Brain. The next song, also contemporary, was played with professional, keyboard mastery. Rick DellaRatta is clearly talented and took Old Devil Moon to new heights. Find the Jazz for Peace performance schedule on www.geocities.com/jazzforpeace.


Jazz for Peace Trio
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Rene Hart on Bass
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Rick DellaRatta on Piano and Vocals
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Andrew Lasalla on Drums
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Rene Hart on Bass
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Rick DellaRatta on Piano and Vocals
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

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