Blues Legend Robbie Laws Takes his Skills to the Portland Schools

Local blues guitar legend Robbie Laws is advancing the teaching of blues to students in the Portland school system in conjunction with the Cascade Blues Association. Laws, an 18-time winner and Hall of Famer of the Muddy Awards and owner of SixStringCentral School of Music, is spending his twenty-third year ensuring that the next generation is well aware of the musical history that was the progenitor of nearly every form of American music.

Blues in the Schools is a program modeled after the after nationally recognized "Blues in the Schools" programs offered throughout the United States and is sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association, considered one of the most active blues associations in the country.

According to Laws, "As a player, a teacher and an aficionado of the blues, I almost consider it my duty to let kids know there is a form of music still out there breathing and thriving that gave birth to the music they are currently listening to. Portland school children aren't all able to come to SixStringCentral to learn to love the blues, so we go to them."

The programs are taught by professional blues musicians and teachers and are offered to local public school systems, private school systems, community centers and institutions, and include local community events. The mission of Blues in the Schools is to help fill the gap created by budget reductions in arts and music in our schools while providing a fun, interactive and goal-oriented program.

"The Cascade Blues Association has done an incredible job of keeping blues alive in Portland and in Oregon. Blues in the Schools is just one more example of people with a common love getting together to spread that love to as many people as possible, " said Laws.

Programs usually last about 45 minutes and consist of live performance examples by the youth performance bands and/or professional adult musicians along with oral narrations and photos woven throughout the session.

Treasurer for the Cascade Blues Association, Jerri Shelton said, "Blues in the Schools relies on corporate sponsorship, private contributions and grants from public and private agencies and organizations. All contributions are tax-deductible. Benefit concerts and other fundraising activities are also periodically promoted throughout the community to support Blues in the Schools."

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