MOUNT DORA -- Jazz enthusiasts and those who want to
support the arts can attend one of three big-band jazz concerts this
weekend at the IceHouse Theatre.
The 17-piece New York City
group Jazz for Peace will play at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and at 2
The concerts will the theater's only fundraiser
Led by pianist and vocalist Rick DellaRatta, the
group has played 350 concerts since its 2002 launch at the United
Nations, where the concert featured musicians from Israel and
The group's name refers not to anti-war sentiment,
but to the impact jazz can have.
"Jazz can have a profoundly
positive effect on people," DellaRatta said. "We use our country's
greatest art form to help organizations that help
The program includes compositions by DellaRatta,
arranged for a big band. Several are salutes to jazz greats Dizzy
Gillespie, Eddie Gomez and Thelonius Monk.
In addition to
raising money for deserving organizations, Jazz for Peace
contributes to music education programs in schools and donates
musical instruments to children.
"One of the reasons we will
play with them is that they support youth music programs," said
Daniel Ransom, a Mount Dora High trumpet player who has gathered 10
other high school students to open the concert.
The group is
made up of former students of award-winning Eustis Middle School
music teacher Gerry Ricke.
They will play "In the Mood" and
"Land of Make Believe."
Joel Warren, the theater's artistic
director, knew Daniel, 14, from the Young Actors Theatre program. He
heard him play with his fellow students, and thought of them when
the concerts were being planned.
"I felt something would be
missing if we just brought in the jazz band," Warren said. "So I
called Daniel and asked if he could bring his friends back together
Tickets are $35. Groups of 10 or more can buy tickets
for $30 each.
For reservations or more information, call the
IceHouse Theatre, 1100 N. Unser St., at 352-383-4616.