Jazz for peace

Saturday March 7 2015

Rick DellaRatta performs at Jazzville in

Rick DellaRatta performs at Jazzville in Bugolobi, Kampala last weekend. Photo by Michael Kakumirizi 

By Douglas D. Sebamala

Standing on the roof top of a building across the Twin Towers, Rick DellaRatta watched the terrorist attack that destroyed thousands of Americans lives on September 11, 2001. That experience inspired his very first attempt at poetry, whose performance drew tears. He turned its impact into music with his first “Jazz For Peace” benefit concert.

“A lot of people have definitions of what peace may be, but the true wave of peace is helping others find their best opportunity in life; by helping stop destruction,” asserts the philanthropic jazz composer and pianist, DellaRatta. Jazz For Peace matured into a world tour that saw DellaRatta perform in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Ghana, Canada, USA, Kenya, and at Jazzville in Bugolobi, Kampala last weekend, where proceeds went to Association for Promotion of the Youth (APY).

Enter Code 9 Band
As jazz fans unnerved with the best in oldies, including Whitney Houston, Foreigner and Abba, an aura of anticipation filled the air once Code 9 Band took to the stage. Applause welcomed DellaRatta, whose fusion with Code 9 was sheer musical genius.

Performing his own composition Stop And Smell The Roses, which he wrote reflecting on how we get trapped in our own problems and forget that it is a privilege to be alive, DellaRatta showed such mastery on the key board, pinning high vocal notes to the telling lyrics. Living Inside The Day Dream had the audience listening rather intensely.

Moon and Sun had its jazzy vibe that got heads nodding. But his sultry voice complemented Just Me Just You; a medley of the title song, whose rendition is a personalised version of Pheloneous Monk’s remake titled Evidence. The rest of the band read sheets of music to play this song, which he gave a playful feel with sound tones.

With Micheal Kitanda on saxophone and Pragmo on keys, musical accompaniments were done justice.
Budding artiste “Body of Brian” left his mark on stage as he strummed acoustic guitar, impressing with crisp live performance. His vocal stint has something exotic about it that shall give several artistes a run for their money. Brian’s rendition of Pharrell William’s Happy was impressive.


Helping out
Association for Promotion of the Youth (APY) in partnership with Jazz for Peace and Rick DellaRatta, are striving to address, sensitise and raise awareness about the root cause of youth movements to urban centres, unemployment and more about HIV/Aids prevention, treatment adherence hence living a positive life.