Chevrolet is showcasing a tribute to New Orleans and the Gulf area with its efforts at this year’s Essence Music Festival (EMF). The division is hosting a number of special opportunities for people on site in Houston and is giving people who can’t travel to the Festival a chance to see what‘s going on through the world wide web.

Chevrolet’s efforts during the Festival include a Habitat for Humanity Home built in Houston which will be made available to a former New Orleans family and a stage area where street performers will entertain festival goers. According to Chevy General Manager Ed Peper, the performances are a tribute to New Orleans where the Festival is traditionally held each year. For 2006, Essence moved the Music Festival to Houston because New Orleans is still rebuilding itself.

“We think festival goers will really appreciate our efforts to tip our hat to the Crescent City,” Peper says. “By offering entertainment from step groups and spoken word artists in the Chevy display, we are hoping to capture a little bit of the flavor of New Orleans in Houston.”

Chevy actually started its Essence Music efforts earlier this month by building a Habitat for Humanity Home in the Greensbrook subdivision, located on the north east side of Houston. Chevy sponsored the cost of the home and organized volunteers to help build it. Chevrolet brought volunteers from Detroit, Washington, DC, California, New York and from many locations around Texas. Volunteers included Chevrolet employees, music artists, local Houstonians and nationally recognized journalists.

“Music has always been a part of Chevrolet’s heritage so we’ve sponsored the Essence Music Festival for many years. But this year, we have a deeper purpose. We must do what we can to help the region come back,” says Peper. “What better to way to pay tribute to the ‘party with a purpose’ than to sponsor and build a home in honor of the Festival? Years from now when this year’s Festival is a memory, a Houston family will still be benefiting from the 2006 EMF.”

Chevy is bringing some of its musical partners to join in the fun at the Festival. Music artists Tamia and Slum Village will be signing autographs for Festival attendees in the Chevy display. Tamia, Slum Village and Omarion are all featured in new Chevy product advertisements.

In addition to the product ads featuring music celebrities, Chevy is paying tribute to legendary African-American music artists such as Ray Charles, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopez and Jam Master Jay with a new divisional ad campaign. The campaign features the musicians that have passed on but whose spirits live on in the youth of today. The ads invite consumers to check out Chevy Excellence in Education scholarships being specifically earmarked for students pursuing a major in music. Interested students can visit

This is the seventh year that Chevrolet has been a sponsor of the Music Festival. According to Peper, Chevy’s strong ties to the festival reflect its dedication to community and philanthropy. “Chevrolet is involved in a variety of community, youth and scholarship programs and has worked with great partners like Essence as part of our commitment to give back to our loyal and valued customers,” Peper says.

About Tamia & Slum Village

Singer, songwriter and actress, Tamia has emerged over the past five years as one of the leading artists of a new generation of musical voices. She is featured in Chevy’s new Tahoe print campaign.

Chevy has worked with Slum Village on many occasions. A Detroit-area hip hop group, members T3 and Elzhi helped build Chevy’s Habitat for Humanity home earlier this month. The duo is featured in a number of Chevy ads on radio and television, and is most recently featured in Chevy’s new Impala print campaign.

Chevy’s Images

Special photos for Chevy’s new product campaign were created by Kwaku Alston, a photographer from California. Alston produced six photos which are being used in Chevy ads as well as for the display elements for Chevy’s efforts at EMF.

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