Ray Charles, Slash, Sir Charles, AT&T Broadband and
Blues Lab to launch "3 Chords and the Truth"
National Youth Songwriting Contest

West L.A. Music's Don Griffin, Blues Lab Director Dane Gillibrand, Ray Charles, and Studio Engineer Terry Howard with representatives from AT&T and students from the Blues Lab at a check presentation ceremony.

LOS ANGELES, CA — Throughout the first half of 2003, youngsters will be invited to submit an original Blues Song for consideration for the chance to join Grammy-winning soul legend Ray Charles and other special guests in his Hollywood Studio to produce the winning songs. Working side by side with one of the most influential artists in American music, the students will produce full arrangements of their songs onto CD, as well as perform them with guest musicians at a special Hollywood fundraiser for the Blues Lab in the Summer. Past guests of the Blues Lab have included Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Bonnie Raitt, Keb' Mo' and Slash.

Funded by Ray Charles and AT&T Broadband, the contest is being organized by The Sir Charles Blues Lab, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing young people across the nation with instruments and opportunities to learn and master the Blues as an enriching after-school activity.

"I want to see this program all across America" said Ray Charles at a recent recording session with Blues Lab students from Compton and Watts. "I wish I had been brought into a circle like this when I was younger," says Slash.

Created as a supplement to dwindling arts programs in public education systems, the Blues Lab is an inexpensive ($1,000 basic equipment cost) and easily implemented after-school program for schools, camps and community centers that wish to enrich their students' lives with the power of music, and provide them with positive, mind-enhancing after-school activities.

The ultimate goal is a Blues Lab for kids in every community in America, and the songwriting contest is part of an international Blues EDucation movement supported by Ray Charles, Tom Hanks, Steven Tyler, No Doubt, Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Britney Spears, Slash, Tom Morello, Steve Vai, Flea, Macy Gray, Roger Waters, The Doors, Keb' Mo', Warner Music Group, and Bonnie Raitt.

We are partnering with nonprofit groups across the nation to create inexpensive musical safe houses in schools, camps, and community centers in the face of culture-crippling budget cuts. The Blues Lab exists as a place where young people of all backgrounds can learn to play and appreciate the Blues as an American cultural treasure, and an effortless stepping stone to the wonders of all music," says Blues Lab founder Sir Charles.

Prospective entrants can log on to www.blueslab.org to find out more about the Blues Lab Songwriting Contest, as well as view lessons and stream recordings of modern artists, kids and legends performing the Blues. This month we feature a jam session by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Sir Charles at the Britney Spears CAmp for the Performing Arts thanks to Sony Music. Tracks from Audioslave's Tom Morello, Steve Vai, Steve Lukather and Joe Satriani are on the way.

"This contest is for everyone, including anyone who never thought they could write a song. All you need for the Blues is three chords and the truth." Says Sir Charles.

Tax Deductible contributions can be mailed c/o The Sir Charles Blues Lab, 8033 Sunset Blvd. #127, Los Angeles, CA 90046

The Sir Charles Blues Lab
501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization
(323) 512-2977

About West L.A. Music

For over 30 years, West L.A. Music has supplied music, audio and recording equipment to top artists around the world. The first music retailer to implement a "beat any deal" policy, industry insiders count on West L.A. Music's personalized knowledgeable service and comprehensive selection of professional products from leading manufacturers.

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For more information, call West L.A. Music at 310-477-1945