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3 concerts to boost Ice House Theatre


Christine Cole | Special to the Sentinel
Posted October 20, 2006
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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 p.m. Sunday.

The concerts will the theater's only fundraiser this season.

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 Lebanon.

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 others."

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 again."

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.




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