Welcome To The Kandid Shop!!

Artist Spotlight: Rick DellaRatta & Jazz For Peace

Artist Spotlight: Rick DellaRatta & Jazz For Peace

On this episode, I am shining a very special artist spotlight on Rick DellaRatta, Jazz singer/pianist & Founder of Jazz for Peace, an organization that provides empowerment, grant sustainable funding, and advocacy for nonprofits, artists, and all out...

On this episode, I am shining a very special artist spotlight on Rick DellaRatta, Jazz singer/pianist & Founder of Jazz for Peace, an organization that provides empowerment, grant sustainable funding, and advocacy for nonprofits, artists, and all outstanding causes worldwide to enable them to be more productive and successful.


Key Takeaways

  • Rick's passion for music ignited at a young age, fueling his desire to bring joy through his musical talents.
  • Jazz for Peace originated as a response to 9/11, aiming to bridge divides and connect people through the power of music.
  • The concept started with a poem, later transformed into a musical composition, resonating with audiences and receiving positive feedback.
  • Jazz for Peace expanded from local concerts to a global organization, including initiatives like providing musical instruments to underprivileged children and promoting music in schools.
  • The conversation stresses the importance of preserving rights and taking action through platforms like music before it's too late.
  • Rick's journey emphasizes adaptability and seizing opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Rick's words and quotes gained popularity, demonstrating the impact of genuine expressions of creativity.
  • When we fill our souls up with creativity, artistry and intelligence ...we have a better chance at avoiding the behavior that leads to destruction. Rick DellaRatta
  • Jazz for Peace unites individuals from diverse backgrounds, showcasing music's power to foster positive change and bring people together.
  • The conversation highlights music's ability to ignite passion, inspire personal growth, and transcend cultural and religious boundaries.

Guest Contact Info




About My Guest

Rick DellaRatta, the acclaimed jazz singer/pianist and founder of Jazz for Peace, has made an indelible mark on the music world with his extraordinary achievements. Considered "One of the most significant cultural events of our time," Jazz for Peace has earned a reputation as one of the world's greatest jazz acts.

  • Here are six unprecedented achievements in Rick DellaRatta's jazz journey:
  • UNITED NATIONS CONCERT: In a groundbreaking moment, Rick DellaRatta and Jazz for Peace performed at the United Nations Headquarters, leading an international band of jazz musicians from diverse backgrounds. This historic event played a pivotal role in world history, bridging divides through the universal language of music.
  • UNITING WORLD LEADERS: The Benefit Concert Series organized by Jazz for Peace has garnered support from more world leaders and prestigious supporters than any other musical event in history. This exceptional achievement underscores the power of jazz to unite people and promote positive change.
  • UNPRECEDENTED FUNDING FOR OVER 850 OUTSTANDING CAUSES: Through the Benefit Concert Series, Jazz for Peace has provided unprecedented funding and support to over 850 outstanding causes worldwide. This remarkable contribution has solidified Jazz for Peace as the most significant cultural event of our time, showcasing the transformative power of jazz.
  • HELPING CHILDREN: Rick DellaRatta's commitment to helping children extends through the Education Series & Instrument Donation Program. By using Jazz for Peace as a platform, he advocates for musicians' rights and promotes the importance of music education for future generations.
  • UNPRECEDENTED MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Rick's musical prowess is unparalleled, combining mesmerizing vocals in English and Portuguese with virtuoso piano playing and outstanding compositions. His ability to seamlessly blend Latin and Brazilian rhythms has captivated audiences worldwide, solidifying him as one of the most unique and exciting performers in the music industry.
  • SUCCESSFULLY BRINGING JAZZ TO NEW AUDIENCES: Rick DellaRatta has successfully introduced the art form of jazz to people who may have never experienced it before. His performances have broken barriers and expanded the reach of jazz, ensuring its enduring relevance in the modern music landscape.


From performing with legendary artists like Dizzy Gillespie to earning comparisons to jazz icons such as Chick Corea and Billie Holiday, Rick DellaRatta's talent as a singer, pianist, and composer knows no bounds. His ongoing "Rick DellaRatta and Jazz for Peace World Tour" has brought him to prestigious venues across the globe, including historic performances in the US, Europe, Africa, and Brazil.

Rick's landmark Jazz for Peace concert at the United Nations continues to inspire and make a lasting impact. Supported and praised by prominent figures like President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and many others, Jazz for Peace has raised funds, awareness, and publicity for over 700 non-profit organizations. Rick's philanthropic efforts have placed him alongside esteemed musicians like Bono, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, and Sting, recognized as top musician philanthropists of our time by The Foundation Center.

Rick DellaRatta's journey embodies the transformative power of jazz, showcasing its ability to bridge divides, uplift communities, and bring people together through the art form of music.


Intro Music: "Welcome To The Kandid Shop" by Anthony Nelson aka BUSS




Kandidly Kristin


Kandidly Kristin: Let's go, let's go, let's go. Hey, hey, hey, podcast Nation. It is your girl, Kandidly Kristin, and this is The Kandid Shop, your number one destination for kandid conversations. Today I have a very special artist spotlight that I am shining on. Jazz singer/pianist and founder of Jazz for Peace, an organization that provides empowerment, grant sustainable funding and advocacy for nonprofits, artists and all outstanding causes worldwide to enable them to be more productive and successful.

Mr. Rick De La Ratta. Welcome, welcome, welcome Rick to the candy shop. It is my absolute pleasure to be chatting with you today.

Rick DellaRatta: Thank you so much, Kristin. I'm glad to be here.

Kandidly Kristin: And so guys, just so you know, at the end of the show, Rick is going to bless us with some music. So stay tuned. Don't leave too soon and you'll miss the music. So, Rick, when did your love affair with music and jazz specifically begin?

Rick DellaRatta: Well, music, it kind of started when I was maybe could have been like a real toddler.

I was dancing around in a circle with my grandmother and my aunt and we were, and I believe there was music, playing while we were dancing. And I believe the music coming outta the radio was something like, you know, the Beatles, I Wanna Hold Your Hand or something to that effect.

And while I was kind of dancing in a circle with them holding hands and were having so much fun, I thought, wow, I wonder if it's possible to be grow up and be like those guys who are playing the music and bringing all that joy to us. You know, and who are those guys playing that music?

So right there, I got an interest that it might be fun to be the ones delivering the music that was making a difference for people at that moment. So that was music in general. And then I think jazz kind of started, I was in a library. And I kind of opened up a drawer or something by accident or who knows, and saw all these records and I'm like, what is this?

And there were so many of them and they were all these different artists. And I'm like, who are these people and why don't I know about them? Because at that point I was listening to the music on the radio and I was studying classical music cuz that's what your teacher taught you back then when you went to take lessons. They just were teaching classical music. So I had the classical music and I had the music on the radio and I'm like, what is all this? And then I started taking those records out of the library and I was like, hmm... something is up here, you know, and I need to get to the bottom of what's going on. So I really started to listen to that music from there, and I noticed that it resonated with my own personal creative interests to improvise at the piano.

Kandidly Kristin: And how old were you when you were in that library and found those records?

Rick DellaRatta: Probably a teenager, relatively young. I mean, I was in school. I could have been in middle school or early high school, but probably middle school. You could have been eighth or ninth grade or something. But somewhere in that region. And I just happened to like stumble across it and next thing I know I was, trying to figure out what's going on here. And I started to listen to that music and take those records out of the library.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay, so are you self-taught? Did you train it like Julliard or something like that?

Rick DellaRatta: Well, I would have to say both because what happened with me was I started playing the piano mainly because I thought santa had brought this thing into our house when I was a kid. I stayed up to watch Santa as long as I could and I didn't wanna get caught watching Santa cuz my parents went wild about that idea at all. So I kind of sneaked around the corner at some point and saw something large coming into the house and a heavyset someone heavyset at the back moving it and coming through the door, and so I figured that must be Santa and you know, that's as good as I'm gonna get without getting caught. So the next thing was Christmas and there was this thing that obviously Santa had brought in. I guess he couldn't fit it down the chimney, you know, I was trying to figure out how this whole thing happened, but anyway, I was like, if Santa brought this and went through all that trouble, I'd better figure out what the heck it is.

So I was figuring out on my own, and I was very happy to do that. I'm like, I'm gonna figure this out on my own without anybody knowing. I'll get to the bottom of it. So I'm still getting to the bottom of it, you know? I found it endless journey. But it's a journey I enjoy because it just brings me constant intellectual stimulation, artistry, humanity, humbleness, because it's so vast. All of these good qualities come from this journey. So I figure I might as well just keep up, just stay on the ship.

Kandidly Kristin: Good. Well, I'm glad you did. So tell me about your creative process, like when you write a song.

Do you write music?

Rick DellaRatta: I do. So I've done everything from being a songwriter, just writing pop songs and stuff to symphonic music. I actually had a orchestral piece recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra quite a long time ago, and, you know a lot of things I get involved in, it's like, well, what's gonna happen if I... how am I gonna find an orchestra to play this stuff? But I did. I was chosen by Master Musicians Collective; was a label, and they chose like 13 American composers to record. Each one of them had a piece recorded by the London Symphony. So, you know, that's that. But then I have a master's degree in jazz compositions, so I have, my own jazz compositions and then I arrange standards. I try to personalize everything I do. So, if you hear me play up Classic old jazz song, hopefully you'll hear a little stamp that makes it different. My version differ from any other version. So there, the compositional part comes outta me. And then improvising is in a way, it's very compositional as well.

All of those great and all the great jazz musicians of course were improvisers, but going all the way back, I mean Beethoven, Mozart, they were all phenomenal improvisers.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay. I love it. So do you just sit down and start playing and then the song grows organically, or do you write the words and then put the music when you're writing something original?

Rick DellaRatta: You know, it really depends. For example, jazz for Peace started out as a poem. And it was just a reaction to me because I happened to get a phone call. I got tipped off on 9 11 that something was going on down at the World Trade Center by someone on Wall Street, and the woman who called me was absolutely frazzled, and she's a photographer and had taken pictures of me the day before.

And I said, you know, listen, just stay put. I'm gonna go up on the roof and just see what's going on because I can see it from the roof of my building. I was on a fifth floor walk up less than a quarter of a mile from the Twin Towers.

Where are you located, by the way?

Kandidly Kristin: In New Jersey

Rick DellaRatta: new Jersey.

Okay. So you know what I'm talking about.

Kandidly Kristin: Yeah.

Rick DellaRatta: So I was less than a quarter of a mile at the Lower East Side . People who live in New Jersey, they know New York City pretty well.

Kandidly Kristin: Yeah. Yeah.

Rick DellaRatta: So I'm down there, I go up on and I see it, and so I didn't have a piano to do anything. I'm staring at it. The only thing that I could do was write words down on a piece of paper that just came out of me. Anyway, so then on that situation, it started out with words, and then later I put those words to music. But you know, it depends. It can start out as a melody and then you put the words to it.

It can be a melody that never has words and just remains a melody. Sometimes I take a melody that someone else wrote and I write the lyrics to that. So, for example, there's a great composer who really partnered with Duke Ellington. A lot of people don't know this, you know? We know like Lennon and McCarney or Elton John.

Elton John you know, didn't write the words to those songs.

Kandidly Kristin: Really?

Rick DellaRatta: You know right.

Kandidly Kristin: No, and I'm a huge fan Elton John .

Rick DellaRatta: Yeah, let me tell you. So all of Elton John's songs are Melody only, and a guy named Bernie Toin wrote all the words.

If you look on the records and look in the backs, it says Lyrics by Bernie Toin. So we only know Elton John most of us. Most people. But you know, the bottom line is he wrote the lyrics and it's the same with George Gershwin. There was, there was Ira Gershwin who I believe wrote all the words, and George Gershwin wrote the music.

In some instances, like Duke Ellington, a lot of people don't know that Billy Strayhorn wrote the music and Duke Ellington's Orchestra recorded it. So I actually wrote the words to a Billy Strayhorn piece called Ispahan. And I also wrote words to a John Col train piece called Oh Lazy Bird.

But like I said, in other situations, I have melodies that I wrote that have no words, so to answer your question every which way, however it comes out, whether it's only music or music first then lyrics, I just leave it open, I leave the funnel open for however it come through.

Kandidly Kristin: Got it. I got it. Now, since you brought up Jazz for Peace, I wanted to talk a little bit about that. You answered my one question where the idea came from, but did you envision it being then what it is now?

Rick DellaRatta: You know, I really didn't at all. It was really just a response to 911. And I just remembered that here I was we were towards the end of the day, the world had obviously changed. I mean, this was gonna be rev ramifications, and I'm sitting here with a piece of paper with words on it that I had titled Jazz for Peace. What I did do, I believe that day was I decided, hey, why don't I try, because you know, we're always talking the talk.

I mean, there's no shortage, in talking the talk. Go to whatever bar stool, you can find someone talking the talk, right? But like, why don't I try living, see if I can live up to these words for a day or two, you know? Actually live up to these words. Because you always see people, you know, talking that talk. And here I was with some powerful words and I figured I had lived enough to know that music was a real kind of a barrier breaker. You know what I mean? And it just broke. I mean, I had traveled over the world already by that time, and I had seen for my own eyes, you don't have to speak the same language to connect with people through music. Yeah. You don't have to be from the same culture, the same religion, the same background, nothing. I mean, there is absolutely nothing that you can't break through with music.

Kandidly Kristin: That's great.

Rick DellaRatta: So, and the the art form of jazz was our country's greatest gift to the world.

So why not jazz, but what happened was, Kristin, one thing just led to another. So all I really had was a poem, when we opened up again, and as you know, we were locked down for as far as air travel and things like that. Yeah. For two and a half weeks or something. It just barely opened up in time for my next high profile gig which was as the headliner at the Savannah Jazz Festival down in Georgia. And it was a big deal. So right when they opened up, I had to get to the airport quick and get on that plane and get down there. And here I was, you know, in front of 8,500 people. And I was on a podcast the other day kind of joking around. The guy was laughing. I said, you know Edgar, Allen, Cohen, you know all those, they would've been salivating to have this opportunity. These great poets never had the chance that I'm sitting with. Right, because I've, the headliner at this festival. I'm in front of 8,500 people and I'm not even a poet, but I have such. so here I am that, like I said, I'm in a situation that Edgar Allen Poe probably never was in his whole life, you know? And all these other great poets, I just thought of him. But you know, Langston Hughes, whoever, you know, forget it.

They never had this opportunity. But I did and I just read the poem. That's all in front of 8,500 people. Well, that just resonated, you know? And it resonated all the way back up to to New York State where upstate New York, where I had another high profile gig right around the beginning of October, and those promoters called me up and they're like, Hey, we heard about this poem.

Wow. Oh my God, it's really affected people. What are you gonna do? They planted the seed. They said, are you gonna put that to music by art concert? And I'm like, Hmm, I don't know, maybe but now all of a sudden I'm like, that's not a bad idea, you know?

Kandidly Kristin: Right.

Rick DellaRatta: So I did put it to music by that time, and basically we started the concert with that and when the two things happened, one, there was pre-promotion. So I received a call from, you know, that local newspaper and they wanted to ask me about the poem, you know, and they were asking me questions and this, that, and the other.

And I just happened to say in the call, I just happened to say off the top of my head, I said, you know, If we fill our souls up with, creativity and artistry and humanity and intellectuality, and our greatest qualities as human beings that we already have. If we were to fill our souls up with those greatest qualities, we would have a better chance at avoid the behavior that leads to destruction.

And that got lifted all on its own. Again, I tell people, we try so hard, I'm sure everyone, I'm sure I'm no different than you. We brought our asses off right? To do our thing. Get nowhere sometimes. And I said this thing off the top of my head, and if you Google Rick De la Rata famous quote, It's listed on every famous quote. I didn't even know there was a famous Quo website. But all over the world, these things in all different languages is this quote.

And so that happened, like I said, I didn't know that was gonna happen. I found out years later I'd be looking for one thing and I couldn't find what I was looking for, but I'd find something on Google where someone listed his favorite 50 quotes of all time. And you know, he had me listed with all of these great poets.

Kandidly Kristin: Wow.

Rick DellaRatta: Yeah. So it was crazy. He had me listed with Martin Luther King and, it was crazy. So, like I said, things just started to take on a life of their own. And I kind of had to, a little bit of responsibility I felt, one was the responsibility to try to live up to the words of that poem. So, you know, I kept going with that. But now I had a famous quote, I had a concert that they had announced that I started out with jazz peace. So I tried to just satisfy these little things, not knowing that once you satisfy one thing, somebody else says something off the charts, and now you have to kind of satisfy that, you know?

 So, one thing led to another. I started doing concerts around New York City and after a while, I got a letter from Michael Bloomberg, the mayor, just saying, Hey, you know, I've been hearing about these concerts you're doing, and I just wanna tell you we are so proud of you and all this kind of stuff, you know, I'm like, oh man, I got sullen. Let me live up to that for a little bit on a record. Now I'm doing it around the country and all that stuff. You know, at the 500th concert, which I was hoping maybe I could retire or something. I got one from Barack Obama. And it was incredible. I mean, the words are just unbelievable.

You know, the thing is, it's like we are apolitical, we like this guy, we don't like that guy. Right. I don't care if you say something true, I am gonna try to acknowledge acknowledge those words, I mean, everyone agrees that, Adolf Hitler was bad news. Right? But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be a vegan because he was a vegan. You know what I mean? Right. Now you're throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Kandidly Kristin: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rick DellaRatta: So I have quote from all kinds of people, I look at in his letters, phenomenal, you know, these other guys and, I would find two Republicans and Democrats showing up at my events.

I remember one time in Las Vegas. And I said, I thought I saw these two guys like arguing on TV or something. You know, foxes said, yeah, they hate each other. I said, what's going on? They said, well, they both believe in helping this outstanding cause that you are, here to do, you know what I mean.

So that's the thing. It does unite people in a positive way.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes. Yes.

So when did it become Jazz for Peace, the organization,

Rick DellaRatta: well, what happened was, truthfully, I was doing some concerts around town and one of the places I was playing was a piano factory. This guy had been a fan of mine.

Anyway, he had come to see me at a club in New York called Birdland. And I had some great musicians that were playing my bands cuz New York has so many great musicians here. And I was playing with these like superstar musicians that would play with me and, Sometimes we would knock people's socks off, and this guy he only had a piano factory and he was like, oh my God, you guys, whoa. Wow. And he was like, I really want you to play in my piano factory. I said, well, I got this suggestion Jazz For Peace crank. So once I'm doing these little things in his piano factory and one day he comes up to me, he says, come into my office. I wanna show you something. He says, listen, see this, this is a, uh, what do they call it? A domain name. Mm-hmm. And this is a blah, blah, blah. And you can start, callIng it jazzforpeace.org and you can do that. And he's telling me that you have your own email address. So he, this guy kind of planted, what got that started.

 Okay. And then what happened was once you got it started, it's like, okay, what is your mission statement? What do you wanna do? And we had already, stuff had come out of little, goals and stuff and I had already stated that I wanted to donate musical instruments to underprivileged children.

I wanted to bring music back into the schools. And the benefit concert series had started, I figured we'd do a handful, you know this probably like at least 20 outstanding causes in New York City. Little did I know there were over 60,000 so, it was hilarious. It really was cuz you know, it was such a learning experience for me.

Nothing just led to another. And the next thing you know, we were kind of off to the races with these events, not only all over the country, but eventually all over the world.

Kandidly Kristin: That's awesome. That's really, really awesome. I went on the Jazz for Peace website and I was like, okay, this is pretty amazing. Like, Grants are not loans. They don't have to be repaid. So I know a few nonprofit organizations that I'm going to give them information, so That's awesome.

So I know you've worked with like a ton of the grade, but is there anyone you'd like to collaborate with like now?

Rick DellaRatta: You know right now because of the mission of Jazz for Peace and the importance to recognize, jazz as our country's greatest gift to the world and the great art form that it is.

I don't know if there's anybody I wouldn't like to collaborate with. It's like, yeah, if someone called me up, The blue and said, Hey, Rick, I know you might not know me. We've never met, and we've never worked, but I just want to tell you, I just wrote an email info@jazzforpeace.org which is what organizations do, by the way.

Hopefully the ones that you will share this with, they just sent us a little email saying, Hey, I reviewed a couple things and blah, blah, blah, and if an artist did that, I think I would basically try to find common ground and do something with that artist, collaborate in one way or another, whether it's assisting that artist with an artist grant, which we do or whether it's doing something collaboratively, musically.

But I would definitely consider the possibility.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay. So my next question for you is, what would your, in a perfect world, Your ideal concert look like, the venue, the backup musician, all of that. What would that look like for you? Or has it already happened?

Rick DellaRatta: Well, you know, people have asked me that question, and mostly my answer generally speaking is I really like when the magic is in the room.

So in other words, it doesn't have to be anything except the magic, because it's very hard to get everything to line up when it comes to jazz or even in music. There's been times when I found myself, on this incredible piano, but I'm only, I'm in, it's like a fifties band or something, the famous fifties band, and I'm just playing something like that.

Kandidly Kristin: Got it.

Rick DellaRatta: It's fine. But wouldn't it be great if I was able to play, do my thing as an artist? Yeah, no, not you. Then I'll find myself, okay, we'll let you play whatever you want, but you gotta play this piano that has like no key, three missing, , hasn't been tuned in like five years, you know, that kind of thing.

Or, there's a whole lot of people at this wedding that's gonna pay you some great, really a lot, a bar mitzvah I don't know if adults do them now, but I used to do when I was a kid, but we just want to hear you play, the latest songs by Prince so we can dance or Michael Jackson or whatever.

Kandidly Kristin: Got it.

Rick DellaRatta: Or you know, here's a chance to do your thing. But you know what, there's only like seven people you know, whatever. Appreciate it. I mean, it's hard to get it all a line up. I told a story of once I was doing something for American Indians, And every single thing you could imagine was going wrong. My flight was delayed. I couldn't get the rented car. Some problem with getting the approval for some renter car or something wrong with it. Then there was a traffic and there was this, and there was that. I couldn't rehearse with the musicians. I didn't even know who they were. It was in Mexico.

It was with an Indian reservation or something. What is going on? We finally get to the place. I walk in there and there's nothing I could do except play with the musicians. I didn't know their names. I didn't even have a chance to like greet them. And all these people were packed into this place and they had been waiting, but you know what? The magic was there. The enthusiasm, the intensity, like you could cut the air with a chain song. It was so magical, and I just remember all we played and was like, wow, And the, the people were just going crazy. They just had bonded with the music and the mission and just everything had come together. And I'm like trying to figure out these guys' names and I'm like, hi man, what is it? It the first you say, I don't want everyone to know, I don't know your name. You know, that kind of stuff. And he gives me his name and then, What about the Trevor? What's the thing, you know? And they got any Miss Louis speaking Eagle? I said, I don't wanna know his pet's name. What's his name? You know what I mean? No, that's his name. Sure if i pronounce this they're not gonna?. No, that's his name, you know, he was an Indian tripper.

Kandidly Kristin: Right, right.

Rick DellaRatta: But the point is, the magic. So I'll take that magic and that intensity and that magic between the music and the people. I will take that first and foremost anytime. I don't care if it's in a barn or Carnegie Hall. I'll take that first and foremost.

Now, with that, if you can get me a handmade Fazi piano or whatever, know you can get me a prestigious concert hall, you know, a Carnegie Hall or whatever, you know, if you could put all that together, then, that's my ideal situation.

Kandidly Kristin: With some magic.

Rick DellaRatta: Yeah. But to now to embellish what you're saying, my ultimate, ideal situation would be to unite all of these great artists like you're telling me, who would I collaborate with? I'd love to do something where I could collaborate and involve all of some of the world's greatest artists with me and separately and whatever, in some kind of a collaborative effort where we had all of that magic together and all of these great artists along with me.

Now, that would be the ultimate.

Kandidly Kristin: All right. So what is on your horizon? what's in your pipeline? A tour, an album, a book.

Rick DellaRatta: Well, one thing we're doing, you know, I usually do things that when you hear me describe it, you think I'm crazy. Like back then, I used to tell people, I wanna take this poem, and then I wanna unite Israeli Palestinians and Americans at the United Nations. And they were like, oh, okay. That's nice. You're crazy. But no, you're not crazy. You're a nice kind of crazy person. And so, that's the thing. But then I did do it. We did play at the United Nations and that's where I started to get all these letters from around the world years later from people resonating like, That was amazing that he did that. Even though they they were late to the party, they eventually came around.

So right now I'm trying to think what would be the greatest thing I could do right now in our time? And, you know, to stay along the lines of being, a really nice but crazy person. I think the best thing I could do right now is protect our civil rights ,freedom of speech, the right for journalists to report to do their job like they're supposed to do, and report on what they see, whether or not it's popular or not but to report on that and to protect innocent people in times of war, innocent civilians from being bombed. And all of that relates to a musical piece that I have called Free JA that I'll be playing for you later. And it's basically a free improvisation, but Free JA comes from the word jazz that is originally spelled 'Jass', which is from a Creole word. I found this out when I went to Haiti and they had a big sign. Welcome Jass for Peace, JASS. And then I was able to find out that that was actually a creole word. Then we took it and screwed it up and put the Zs off. I took the SS off the Z off. Now I've got Free JA, which stands for someone that we need to free, you know, because we need to protect our rights, freedom of speech and all that kind of stuff.

So if I could do that, that would probably be like a major contribution. So, After this 37th performance of Free JA, I got a call and the person told me, Hey, you know what you are doing and what Roger Water's doing, all these other people that are involved with me. They said, you know what? The New York Times has taken notice and they now want, they are calling for the release. So the New York crimes joined us and they said five other major news, you know, things. So we have made progress. But I think, yeah, if I could do that, because in all honesty, I don't wanna lose our rights to freedom of speech. I don't want innocent civilians being bombed. And I definitely don't want anyone who has journalistic integrity to be attacked for reporting on something that they are doing their job.

Kandidly Kristin: Right.

Rick DellaRatta: So that's the kind of big fish I've got on the line at the moment.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay. That's a huge fish and I'm sure you will get it done.

Rick DellaRatta: Thank you. I hope to go after big game, Kristin.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes, but I mean, why not?

Rick DellaRatta: Why not? You know, I'm in the position where all of my achievements have led up, given me the privilege to stand for some of our most important human rights at this time.

So that is something I wanna do and I want people to stand with me. Consider the fact that, I hate to say it, but if once you lose those rights, it's a little late in the game. Because it's hard to get back. And there's too much going on now with censorship and I used to see it around.

Kandidly Kristin: Yeah. Yep. So it's all down the hill. Yes.

Rick DellaRatta: And I'll tell you, you don't wanna wait. You don't wanna be late to that party because when you lose those rights, it's really, it's a lot easier to preserve the rights you have than try to get them back after you lose and so that's where I'm at.

Kandidly Kristin: I agree. Well, thank you so much, Rick. That is the end of the formal part of our conversation. Now we can get to the fun stuff. We're gonna play 10 kandid questions. Now these are just 10 random questions. Some either/ or, some require a little more fleshed out answer. The only rule is you have to answer them kandidly.

You ready?

Rick DellaRatta: Great.

Kandidly Kristin: Question number one. What's your biggest pet peeve?

Rick DellaRatta: My biggest pet peeve, Kristin, is hypocrisy.

Kandidly Kristin: You are the first person that ever said that. I usually get people that are late or liars. Hypocrisy... I like that. All right, question number two, tea or coffee?

Rick DellaRatta: For right this second, I'll say coffee, lifetime, I have to say tea. So, you know, it depends on what you mean. Do you mean like in the present or in the long term?

Kandidly Kristin: If you had to pick one and you were out at any time, which would you pick? And I guess, I guess that depends on what time it is or what mood you're in, but I guess generally, which do you prefer?

Rick DellaRatta: Well right this second. In the current, I possibly drank more coffee than tea, but over my lifetime it would definitely be tea.

Kandidly Kristin: Good enough.

All right. Question number three. What do people misunderstand about you most?

Rick DellaRatta: Things that may seem complex about me really come from a very simple origin.

Kandidly Kristin: All right, question four, cats or dogs.

Rick DellaRatta: For me personally right now, I'll say dogs, even though I'm not wild about those really giant dogs, you know, that's a very much for me, it's like, oh my God, that's a lot, but, uh, you know, within recent, I do like small dogs.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay.

Question five. Tell me about the three most influential people in your life and how they impacted you.

Rick DellaRatta: That's a tough one. Okay. Let's say.

Well, I'll start out with Choppa because I think he was an amazingly lyrical pianist and composer, and his nuance is fantastic, and then I'll move forward up to there to, I would either say Monk or John Coltrane. I'll go all the way up though and say John Coltrane cause I think he was a transcendent and spiritual musical artist who was able to take the baton from all of the music that came up to there and bring it to a whole another realm and also adds a spiritual aspect to that almost saintly in some of what he did, and then I'll go from a third case, I'll say somebody who was completely out of music . I'll just off the top of my head, I'll say Aldis Huxley, but he represents a lot of people who were just, well,

 I'm sorry. I'm gonna say dusty husky kind of people, Aldis Huxley types that you know, we're able to say quite a bit without having to play a note of music. That can influence a musician, in a humanitarian way, but also in a spiritual way in influence and spiritually.

Kandidly Kristin: I agree. I agree. Huh, interesting.

So, next question. Night owl or morning person.

Rick DellaRatta: Used to be night person. I used to be nine to five. Nine to five as a jazz musician was 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM. But now I've been involved in things like alpine skiing and you know, early morning swimming and things of that nature. So right now, I'll have to say morning at the moment.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay. Who is on your personal playlist?

Rick DellaRatta: Oh, lemme see. I'll have to say, well, I'll, I'll have to say some of the people I already mentioned, like, you know, John Coltrane,, Thelonious Monk, but also some of the other great, singers and pianists and jazz instrumentalists, et cetera. You know Chickering Sons, Herbie Hancock, who's also somewhat of a fan of Jazz for Peace, wrote us a wonderful letter once. Edith James, was a great singer. I've been singing one of her songs recently. One of the songs, one of her stanzas. So, yeah, people of that stature.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay,, next question. What's your favorite curse word, if you have one?

Rick DellaRatta: Well, it would be an Icelandic word called skitur, which means shit, but they, what they say is unskitur.

Kandidly Kristin: Nice.

I'm gonna start saying that. What's one question you wished I'd ask you and how would you have answered it?

Rick DellaRatta: Let's see. Okay. Let's say you wanted to ask me, Hey, I might have a nonprofit in New Jersey that would be interested in the work of Jazz for Peace. What do you provide and how can they get started?

So I would answer that: what we provide is a world class cultural event at no cost to you. So that's like their own fundraiser, right? But then plus all of the staffing and the guidance and the expertise. To make that event a success. So when you put both of those things together using our Empowerment Tree model, that's why you have the testimonials from all of our previous grant recipients.

That's why they're kind of, people say it's almost too good to be true, but when you put those two things together, really, you have something that can make it a profoundly positive difference in a lot of ways because it provides not only money, but you can't throw money at something and fix the problem. And the sooner we learn that, the better. But it also provides important qualities like rejuvenating their supporters and expanding their donor base, getting them sponsors at the local and at the national level. Publicity and awareness. New and prestigious supporters and the sharing of fundraising techniques.

And now how can they get started? They can get started by watching , by listening to your podcast and then sending an email to info@jazzforpeace.org.

Kandidly Kristin: Got it.

And that was, believe it or not, the 10th and final question, how can my listeners connect with you and Jazz for Peace ? But you can say it again

Rick DellaRatta: yeah. So what you wanna do is, listen to Kristin's podcast https://www.thekandidshop.com/ all the way through, and then check out a couple things, you can go to https://jazzforpeace.org/ which is our website. And you can watch a little video that says how to get a grant in three and a half minutes and boy, only three and a half minutes. You can watch that and you can send us an email.

Now for me, if you can spell my name and if you're, looking at this podcast, I'm sure you'll see my spelling of my name. It's https://www.rickdellaratta.com/ and that's a good place to start. You could even start with Rick DellaRatta famous quote or something like that and see some of the things we've already said. And just check out a few things. If you want to, you can go on Google and just type in NY Times ,Jazz for Peace, and you'll see a press release that announces the New York Times joining us in this fight to free Julian Assange.

And then what I want you to for sure do is watch the video of Jazz for Peace live in Nigeria.

Kandidly Kristin: Nice. I'm definitely going to do that. So, All right, Rick. This is a moment. I don't know about everybody that's listening that I have been waiting for, cuz it wouldn't be a spotlight if we did not get to hear you play something so...

Rick DellaRatta: great. Now here's the deal. Here's what I've been doing in this Free JA thing, because it's it's a freeform jazz thing. I just make it up. I have no idea what I'm gonna play and it's gonna be unique to this moment in time to you, your show, everything. So what I do is I take a piece and I play a little bit of that to draw us into it.

And then I go off to kind of hold you into the journey that who the heck knows where it's gonna end, or where it's gonna go. So you have the, I'm giving you three choices today. You can either hear me for the song I play in the beginning, it can be a folk song.

Okay. Okay. It can be a rock song like Jimmy Hendrix, or it can be a song like an Old Standard, like a Etta James. What would you choose for me to lead it?

Kandidly Kristin: I'm gonna go with the old standard.

Rick DellaRatta: Okay, so this is called a Sunday kind of love. And like I said, it was originally recorded by the Great Etta James.

Kandidly Kristin: Indeed.

Rick DellaRatta: And then it will go into free JA

(Rick DellaRatta Singing ... )

Kandidly Kristin: That was awesome. I had my eyes closed. That was amazing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for that, for sharing your gift with me and my listeners. That was awesome. I can't wait for the world to hear this, honestly. I really, really can't. Thank you.

Rick DellaRatta: Wow. Okay, great. Well, I'm so happy. I'd love to hear the joy from the people, the person listening. It makes me feel good. Your words makes me feel like we did something real good today. Thank you so much.

Kandidly Kristin: And I believe we did, I truly do. And guys, all of Rick's and Jazz for Peace contact info, links to his music will be in the show notes.

And Rick, I really can't thank you enough for today. It's been a long time coming, feels like forever since we first talked. And I'm just glad we got it done. Thank you for the work you do with Jazz for Peace, for your music, for all of it. Just thank you.

Rick DellaRatta: Well, thank you, Kristin. And in the words of the immortal Sam Cook, it's been a long time coming.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes, indeed. All right, guys, don't you guys forget when you're visiting websites to visit mine at https://www.thekandidshop.com/ listen to episode, drop me a review, share the show with your friends, family, neighbors, and until next time, I want everyone out there to keep it safe, keep it healthy and keep it kandid.

Rick DellaRatta & Jazz for Peace™Profile Photo

Rick DellaRatta & Jazz for Peace™

Rick DellaRatta is now considered by many to be one of the finest Singer/Pianists performing today and one of only a handful of Jazz Artists who can make a successful musical presentation to a large audience without having to abandon the true art form of Jazz. Through his life long endeavor to help advance people to their highest potential through the understanding of Jazz as well as spreading peace worldwide through his "Jazz for Peace World Tour", Rick DellaRatta is considered to be an innovator and a visionary.

http://iaomc.org/ noorinfo.com
His unique and original piano playing and composing has been compared in print to Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Joe Zawinul, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk while his signature vocal sound and style has been likened to Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Joao Gilberto, Ivan Lins, Michael Franks and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Dr. Billy Taylor put Ricks impact in perspective when commenting on Ricks "Thought Provoking CD - he said: "Rick DellaRatta is one of the people who is taking Jazz to the next level".