[JPL] Jazz in Rwanda

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Tue May 26 22:34:58 EDT 2009

Rwanda: 'Jazz for Peace' in Kigali
Peninnah Gathoni
25 May 2009


Kigali --- Last weekend saw the unveiling of a different genre of music 
in Kigali-jazz during the Amahoro week. Jazz is new in Kigali but the 
turn out showed that there is great potential for it.

Rick DellaRatta and his group Jazz for Peace held two concerts in Petit 
Stadium and at Serena hotel.

The group was specifically invited to perform in Kigali to promote 
peace, as it is the group's main purpose of existence. According to one 
of the organisers Misbah Sheikh, the group extensive work in peace 
promotion was relevant to the aims of the 'Peace Week'.

"We felt the need to invite DellaRatta and his group because their work 
in promoting peace through music, is well known in the world- they 
perform to promote what we aim to achieve in the 'Peace Week'," Said Misbah.

Jazz for peace team, arrived in the country last Thursday, eager to 
perform for the first time in Africa. According to the group's founder 
DellaRatta the group performance in Rwanda was a celebration of what 
Rwanda has already achieved, and an acknowledgement of the continuing work.

"This is a special occasion for us and for Rwanda. People of this 
country have worked a lot to rebuild and make the country an example to 
many others. We have a lot to celebrate, and I am glad to play 
accompanying music," said DellaRatta.

In 2002 September 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. This saw the 
birth of a now renowned band -Jazz for peace.

DellaRatta pointed out that Jazz for peace is aimed at uniting people 
across the world. He emphasised that the group's aim is spreading peace 
worldwide through "Jazz for Peace World Tour".

"Jazz for Peace is aimed at reaching out to individuals and 
organizations across the world, promoting peace. We believe that if we 
embrace qualities such as creativity, artistry, humanity, we will all 
have a better chance of avoiding behaviour that leads to destruction," 
said DellaRatta. Through music the groups aim at transcending barriers 
that bring out differences amongst people using Jazz.

DellaRatta says that the group joins forces with multi-cultural 
musicians to entertain and spread the message of peace.

"Music can help us find a common ground and to communicate things that 
unite us. Jazz is a Universal language where we can gather people 
regardless of colour, tribe and religion. That's what we do- we play 
music and hope that unity will be found in shared beliefs and values 
that we communicate in our performances," DellaRatta remarked.

According to DellaRatta the benefits from concerts and all the work of 
the group are channelled to outstanding organisations and charities 
across the world.

"Through our Instrument Donation Program (IDP), we provide musical 
instruments to under privileged children all over the world. We donate 
to outstanding non -governmental organisations that continue to work the 
betterment of our world," DellaRatta said.

DellaRatta and his group have committed their lives, to a cause that is 
bigger than many of us, but with their contribution we make a step 
closer to a desired dream - world peace. Perhaps if we all did our share 
to walk towards a similar goal, we could at least be a step closer to 
world peace.

Copyright © 2009 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by 
AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

Dr. Jazz
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