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pianist and vocalist Rick DellaRatta played at the Jazz for
Peace concert last Thursday. (Photo by David
jazz, a message of peace
Michelle Apuzzio/ Correspondent
Thursday, September 23,
SHERBORN - Since the
first Jazz for Peace concert in October 2001, jazz pianist and vocalist
Rick DellaRatta and his ever-evolving troupe of accompanying musicians
have played more than 150 concerts. Last week, he brought the philosophy
of Jazz for Peace to the Peace Abbey to play a benefit for Anu Mati, a
community healing center soon to open in Natick.
Jazz for Peace's first American concert coincided with the post-September
11 peace movement, DellaRatta explained that the idea of uniting people
through the art form of jazz came to him the previous year. But it was
after he assembled a multinational ensemble to play at the United Nations
in September 2002, the Jazz for Peace concerts really took off. He has
played, along with jazz notables such Eddie Gomez and Lenny White, every
Saturday in the Jazz on the Park series in New York City since that
believes that the art form of jazz promotes creativity and
intellectuality, and that a mind and soul filled with those things leaves
less room for destructive behavior.
he traveled the world as a jazz musician, DellaRatta noted that jazz was a
universal interest. "It is something really American that is embraced by
the world," he said.
believes so strongly in music's power to bring together citizens of the
world regardless of race or religion, he will use the proceeds from his
most recent CD, "Jazz for Peace," to supply musical instruments to
underprivileged communities around the world.
you've made music with someone of a different religion, it's very hard to
think about killing someone," he said. "It puts you on common ground."
for Peace concerts have benefited many nonprofit organizations of various
focuses, including Dollars and Sense, Lawyers without Borders and the
Russian Orphan Aid Foundation. Mare Tomaski, who will open Anu Mati in
January, contacted Jazz for Peace about doing a benefit for the new
community healing center.
Mati, which means "gentle mind" in Sanskrit, will offer massage, dance and
movement classes, meditation and wellness workshops. The healing center's
mission is: "If we are to make gentle the world, we must first start with
ourselves." And thus, although Anu Mati will effect change on a smaller
scale than Jazz for Peace, they have the same charge - to better the
individual person by exposing them to art and spirituality in hopes of
making the world a better place to live.
so music brought together more than two dozen in the community to raise
money for the new center as bassist Ben Meigners and drummer Andrew
LaSalla joined DellaRatta on jazz standards such as "The Way You Look
Tonight" and "Night and Day" as well as original pieces like "Cheeks," a
tribute to Dizzy Gillespie who is credited for bringing jazz to Cuba - an
inspiration to folks like DellaRatta trying to spread the art form of jazz
throughout the world.
sees the potential in the human spirit," said Tomaski.