Carlos Santana, Khalid & More Named Ambassadors for House of Blues Music Forward Foundation

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Carlos Santana

The music nonprofit's first-ever ambassadors will provide mentorship and more to underserved youth.

Khalid, Carlos Santana, Benny Blanco, Martina McBride and more have been named to the inaugural Ambassadors Council for the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the live entertainment/restaurant chain, the organization revealed to Billboard on Tuesday (Aug. 20).

The Music Forward Foundation offers free vocational training in the music industry to young people living in diverse and underserved communities. Each of the Ambassadors will contribute to the cause by mentoring aspiring artists, speaking at educational workshops, donating funds from ticket sales and providing exclusive memorabilia for auction, among other things.

“The Music Forward Foundation is ecstatic to work with such a passionate and diverse group of artists on our inaugural Ambassadors Council,” said House of Blues Music Forward Foundation executive director Nurit Siegel Smith in a statement. “With their support, we can increase our impact on the communities we serve and empower more young people to use music as a conduit for success.”

Other artists named as Music Forward Ambassadors include singer-actress Sofia Carson, Christian singer-songwriter Lauren Daigle, country singer Chris Janson and rock band Umphrey’s McGee.

“It’s important to have foundations that involve music,” said Khalid in a statement. “There are so many kids who don’t have the resources or information to get started in the music business. There is this huge world of creative opportunities that you can pursue a career in, and there are so many amazing jobs in the music world that I imagine young people would be excited to pursue if they knew about them.”

First established in 1993 as the International House of Blues Foundation, Music Forward claims to have invested $25 million in “transformational” music programs over the last 25 years. They state that 100% of the foundation’s alumni are employed or in school, while 94% “regularly leverage skills and knowledge” learned via Music Forward programs.

“The youth of today are a powerful and unstoppable force that I am honored to be a part of,” added Carson. “Combining our collective voices with the unparalleled moving force that is music, I believe we can uplift this generation to create lasting and positive social change.”

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