Drumming as Dialogue: Soka Gakkai International Hosts Interfaith Festival in Hampton Roads

September 3, 2006

Source: The Virginian-Pilot


On September 3, 2006 The Virginian-Pilot reported, "Drummer Rick Mateo believes in the power of music. He believes his drums, and music in general, can help open people's hearts and unite them. On Saturday Mateo and an interfaith group of local artists and musicians will give interpretations of that unity at the One Love Festival - A World Peace Music and Arts Extravaganza. 'We're using music to get people together to talk to each other,' said Mateo, one of the event's coordinators. He will perform a drum solo, incorporating African rhythms. Mateo, a 57-year-old Oceanfront resident who's played drums since he was 7, said music can cross cultural barriers and help diverse people engage in dialogue. When that happens, he said, people can understand differences, which leads to peace. Organizers specifically chose the event date with the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in mind. Performers will represent a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds including Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Pagan and those of no religion. There will be dancing, singing, spoken word, improvisational acting, African drumming and other art forms. Music genres range from Christian rap to Yiddish singing."