This article was originally published here: Rick DellaRatta – Founder of Jazz for Peace™
Profoundly affected by witnessing the horror of 9/11, Rick DellaRatta has combined his musical skills and his determination to provoke change.
What’s your story?
Jazz for Peace rose from the ashes of the horrifying tragedy of 9/11 starting with a poem that was written by me while witnessing those very events on a rooftop less than a quarter of a mile away from Ground Zero on that fateful morning. At the time was I considered by many to be one of the finest Singer/Instrumentalists performing in Jazz, and I have since gone on to prove that if 9/11, a tragedy “too BAD to be true” can exist, so then can a response “too GOOD to be true” The Jazz for Peace Benefit Concert Series.
What excites you most about your industry?
The opportunity to combine both Jazz and Philanthropy in a way that not only represents who I am as an artist but also who I have become as a person via the pursuit of excellence in my idiom. I have the chance to not only try to reach my potential as a musician, but also as a humanitarian, philanthropist, fundraiser and human being while ultimately redefining peace by using the Art Form of Jazz in combination with our unique Fundraising Model (The Jazz for Peace Empowerment Tree) to help the worlds most outstanding causes, organizations and Artistic Projects.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
What drives me to go above and beyond the norm is the inner satisfaction of knowing that I did my very best to follow my star during my short stay on this planet, coupled with what so often has been a testimonial sent to us by the outstanding Grant Recipient after each event and which we publish for all to see at https://jazzforpeace.wordpress.com/about/ (scroll down to testimonials) confirming that our efforts were not in vain and truly made a difference. Thereby allowing us to fulfil our mission of “helping those who are helping others”.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Through my work at Jazz for Peace, I get to consistently learn, use, apply and hone my skills as a Musician, Band Leader, event planner, humanitarian, and advocate for others.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
While doing my Senior High School thesis on the great pianist Art Tatum I came across an interview where he said “I’ve never heard a piano player that I couldn’t learn something from”. I decided not only to follow that advice but also to take it a step further and consider the possibility that I’ve never met a person that I couldn’t learn something from. This helps me in my quest to try and extract the most positive outcome from any situation or circumstance.
Who inspires you?
From actually seeing my own “Famous quote” listed on hundreds of famous quotes web-sites (https://www.azquotes.com/author/25315-Rick_DellaRatta) I have actually come to be inspired by the famous quotes of others. From the famous quote attributed to Gandhi – “BE the change you wish to see in the world” to Bob Marley’s “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively” and everything in between. I know I can find inspiration anytime I want to just by reading the famous quotes of others.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Because of the current cycle that we are in (which some call “The Fourth Turning”), you can actually solve many of the worlds problems simply by doing the exact opposite of what is currently being done. For example, instead of funding war, you could fund peace. Instead of a “Trickle Down economy” where outstanding causes and people with passion and knowledge to address our worlds problems receive the funding last, you could install a “Trickle Up” economy (such as Jazz for Peace Cryptocurrency) where they can receive the funding first so they can achieve their mission.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Due to the fact that we learn more from our mistakes and our failures than from our successes I would not wish to do anything differently and miss out the opportunities to learn that knowledge, but only to learn those lessons sooner, thereby giving me more time to implement the knowledge I have gained, thereby being able to transmit and communicate that knowledge to more people.
How do you unwind?
I like to ski, swim and play basketball in addition to meditating at the piano, making a difference in the lives of children, and spending quality time with friends.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
We once had an event all the way across the country to address the problem of bullying in schools. After returning, I was concerned that even though we had tried our very best, perhaps our efforts did not raise enough funds; publicity & awareness; sponsors; new and prestigious supporters; etc. to make it worth all of the effort. Then we received a message which revealed that we had actually made a profoundly positive, transformational and healing difference in the actual child who had been bullied. This was more important than anything else we could have possibly imagined or achieved.
Everyone in business should read this book:
I have found that stoic philosophy is a timeless way to put things into perspective. One of the most well-known books of this genre is “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius. It can help people in any industry realize things like concentrating on that which you cannot control or change is a waste of time and energy and “What You Propose, Fate Will Dispose” which means that as hard as you may try, it is quite doubtful you will get exactly what you set out for though you may get something even better.
Shameless plug for your business:
To bring this event to YOUR city, state or country all we need is to find someone hopefully through you who is in need of of funds and any (or all) of these things listed below.
A Jazz for Peace Empowerment Grant provides a “Helpful Step Forward” to a Grant recipient in the following 6 ways:
1. EXPAND your Donor and Support (Fan) Base
2. Thank, reward, honor and REJUVENATE the supporters you already have.
3. Obtain more Sponsors!
4. New & PRESTIGIOUS supporters.
5. Greater Publicity and Awareness.
6. And last but not least – to be better FUNDED.
How can people connect with you?
One great way to get started is with a simple comment sent to our email address. That’s because each comment represents a seedling of a future JAZZforPEACE empowerment tree and all by itself actually completes Easy Letter A of the easy ABC steps with only letters B & C left for funding approval! At the top of this page is our 20 second Fast Facts – https://jazzforpeace.org/knowthefunder.pdf After reviewing that and anything else that you would like to review, you should now know enough about Jazz for Peace to send your comment to us at: [email protected]
Social Media Links?
High Resolution Photos: https://rickdellaratta.com/press.html
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.