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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

‘Jazz for Peace’

Rick DellaRatta to play benefit for Special Olympics Idaho

Express Staff Writer

Special Olympics Idaho was the recipient of a grant from the Jazz for Peace Foundation, which provides world-class cultural events as fundraising opportunities at no cost to the organizations.

"We are honored to be receiving this benefit concert grant from the foundation, and to be bringing such a highly praised, culturally acclaimed event to Sun Valley," said Laurie LaFollette, CEO of Special Olympics Idaho.

As a result, jazz great, singer, pianist and composer Rick DellaRatta will bring his show to Sun Valley, making it a stop in an international Jazz for Peace tour that has earned accolades from world leaders around the globe, including President Barack Obama.

DellaRatta will play Friday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley Inn.

Sun Valley Guide

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community to come out in support of the intellectually disabled population in Idaho, while experiencing an exceptional jazz performance," LaFollette said.

DellaRatta has performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Paquito D'Rivera. He is considered one of the finest jazz performers today, able to play for a large audience without compromising the art of jazz.

His unique and original jazz style has been written about as resembling Chick Corea, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner and Thelonius Monk. His vocal style has been likened to Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Michael Franks and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Recently, DellaRatta was included in a book called "Jazz Singers" as one of the top jazz vocalists of all time, and his musical philanthropy rivals that of Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Sting and even Bono.

Special Olympics Idaho serves more than 2,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities across the state. The nonprofit provides sports training and competition year-round to athletes as young as 2 and as old as 90.

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