Ray Charles and his recording engineer of 16 years, Terry Howard, were presented with the Blues Lab's Soldier of Blues Award at Charles' recording studio in L.A. The award is presented to those whose career is an inspiration to young blues musicians.
Paying tribute to Charles, high school Blues Lab students from Watts, Compton and south-central L.A. performed a set of his classic songs. Former Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash joined in on the festivities, remarking that “it's really important that younger cats learn to appreciate the foundation of where modern music comes from.”
Founded in 1998, Blues Lab, a nonprofit organization, provides free instruments and after-school jam sessions for disadvantaged youths across the nation.
To find out more about Blues Lab, check out www.blueslab.org.