Jazz musicians join with dispute resolution center

  • By Theresa Goffredo, Herald Writer
  • Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:30am
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Some might consider jazz the music of lovers.

At the very least, Matt Phillips wants to bring people together Saturday night under the umbrella of jazz music for a friendly, tension-free experience.

Volunteers of America’s Dispute Resolution Center along with the group Jazz for Peace are putting on two jazz concerts in Everett to raise money to benefit both organizations.

The Jazz for Peace concerts will be at 4:30 and 6 p.m. Saturday at the cafe Under the Red Umbrella on Rucker Avenue in a cozy part of north Everett. Food and drinks will be available.

The highly regarded Jazz for Peace musicians have played concerts for nonprofits all over the country and are led by international vocalist, pianist and composer Rick DellaRatta. This is an accomplished and energized jazz group that has been called a “superb band” by the Washington Post.

“This will be an intimate atmosphere to hear world-class jazz for two extremely good causes, and it will hopefully bring together people who have some common interests,” Phillips said.

Phillips is the director of the Dispute Resolution Center, which provides mediation and conflict resolution services to families, businesses and neighborhoods and also helps in small claims court cases.

Phillips said when he learned about Jazz for Peace, he knew that there would be a solid connection and a natural extension between the two nonprofits because both are trying to raise awareness about the importance of resolving conflict.

“Their mission is so in sync with ours, it was such a natural partnership getting the two of us together,” Phillips said.

Jazz for Peace performed at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 25, 2002. DellaRatta led a band consisting of Israeli, Palestinian and American musicians in concert for an international audience in what became a significant cultural event.

The concert is what led to a benefit concert series that has gone on to raise funds, publicity and awareness for more than 450 nonprofit organizations.

DellaRatta has been recognized by The Foundation Center, a Web site that is a support mechanism for nonprofits nationwide, as one of the top musician philanthropists today, along with Bono, Elton John, Peter Gabriel and Sting, Phillips said.

“A lot of the time, people are so exposed when they are coming to us for help, whether it’s divorce or some other conflict, so it’s nice to have a venue like this to bring people together in an entertaining atmosphere, instead of one of high intensity conflict,” Phillips said.

All proceeds are split between the DRC and Jazz for Peace, which uses money to help bring music programs and musical instruments into schools.

Arts writer Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424 or goffredo@heraldnet.com.

Rick DellaRatta

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