February 20, 2004

Don’t Mess With Texas Music Latino Initiative

In celebration of musical talent from the Lone Star State and the continued campaign for Texas music education, the Texas Music Project (TMP), a statewide nonprofit initiative working to strengthen and restore music education in public schools throughout Texas, names Clint Black, Flaco Jimenez and the Knowles family (including Beyonce, Solange, and parents Mathew and Tina) as the 2004 honorary chairpersons for the “Don’t Mess with Texas Music” public awareness campaign, launched in 2003.

As the honorary chairpersons, Black, Jimenez and the Knowles family will help to support music education throughout Texas by lending time and talent to TMP initiatives.  Each artist will also generously lend a cost-free song to the “Don’t Mess with Texas Music” compilation CD series.

“You never know who the next Mozart will be,” said country music legend and TMP’s 2004 honorary chair-persons, Clint Black. “Schools are not only there for the mathematicians, scientists and historians. Schools are there for those who will carry our art forms into the future, and perhaps like me, other students about to give up on (their education) will find their way in the world through music.”

“I was in music from elementary to high school and was one of those kids that through music became a better student. Having music (education) at an early age prepared me for my professional life,” said Mathew Knowles, TMP’s 2004 honorary chairperson and pre-sident of Music World Entertainment/Sanctuary Urban Holding Company.

“Music can add confidence and create self esteem for creative students who sometime struggle in school.  Ultimately this confidence spills over and makes for a better overall student.”

Since its launch in Fall 2003, TMP has been working to increase awareness of music education and the needs of schools, while raising funds to provide short-term relief and capacity-building to public schools. The campaign relies on the popularity of Texas music and generosity of Texas artists, releasing annual “Don’t Mess with Texas Music” compilation CDs, and working with local communities and com-panies to create fundraising and brand-building programs around Texas music and artists.

The series of annual compilation CDs showcases both well-recognized and emerging Texas talent who share TMP’s goal of strengthening music education in Texas schools. The first edition of the CD was launched in September 2003, and featured Willie Nelson and 20 other all-star Texas artists, from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Erykah Badu and quickly became the best-selling Texas compilation in history.

“After just six months, TMP has generated nearly $500,000 in publicity for music education and will contribute over $100,000 to fund school music education programs in 2004,” said Bruce Orr, co-founder and executive director for TMP.

“Thanks to Texas musicians, our statewide corporate sponsors [Starbucks Coffee, Dell, Brook Mays Music Group, Pepsi-Cola and AmeriPlan USA] and the communities that have supported this initiative, we are beginning to make an impact by meeting both the needs of Texas communities and the companies that serve them.”

In September 2004, TMP will release Volume Two of the “Don’t Mess with Texas Music” compilation CD, featuring Honorary Chairpersons and GRAMMY-Award winners Beyonce Knowles and Clint Black, among others.

In July a special edition compilation CD, “Don’t Mess with La Musica de Tejas,” will be released featuring Honorary Chairman and GRAMMY-Award winner, Flaco Jimenez, and an all-star collection of Texas Latino and Tejano artists. The special edition compilation CD will celebrate Latino/Tejano music in Texas with proceeds used to support music education in schools with a high Latino student population.

“To me, music is as important to learn as the ABCs, whether a young person makes a career out of it or not. It is an expression of ourselves in a way that all can understand which makes it an important subject for our youth to learn,” said Flaco Jimenez, TMP’s 2004 honorary chairperson.

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