migration blues

The Centennial Celebration of the Great Migration continues with an exploration of the musical history that developed as a result of the historic migration of African Americans from the South to northern cities, especially Chicago. The cultural impact of the blues and jazz genres, which expanded on major levels due to The Great Migration, will be celebrated with two events on Saturday, July 23.

Taylor Park will host Chicago Bound: The Great Migration of the Blues from 5-7pm. National Public Radio's Cheryl Corely will narrate the journey that started in the Mississippi Delta and landed on the South and West Sides of Chicago. Local musician Lucy Smith and her band Autumn in Augusta will perform the songs of pivotal blues musicians who brought the Delta blues from the South and transformed it into Chicago blues. The music of Muddy, Waters, Memphis Minnie, Big Bill Broonzy and many others will be featured in a FREE evening of history and sounds.

At 8pm, DuSable Museum celebrates the wide-ranging influence of violinist and music educator Captain Walter Dyett with A Centennial Tribute to the Musicians of Captain Walter Dyett. As the band director for Wendell Phillips and DuSable high schools, Captain Dyett was responsible for training 20,000 jazz musicians during his 30 year tenure as a music educator on Chicago's South Side. Some of the famous jazz musicians he trained include saxophonist Von Freeman, pianist Dorethy Donegan, and singer Dinah Washington. A blues and jazz musical tribute will be hosted by radio personality Richard Steele and feature stand-out local musicians including blues harmonica master Sugar Blue and Saxophonist Lady Sax. Tickets are $35 and support the Walter Dyett High School for the Arts.

Chicago Bound: The Great Migration of The Blues

  • Taylor Park, 39 W. 47th St. 
  • Concert from 5-7 pm
  • Free 

A Centennial Tribute To Musicians of Captain Walter Dyett

  • DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th St.
  • Concert at 8pm
  • Tickets $35


For more special events, tours and exhibitions in Chicago for the year-long celebration, visit choosechicago.com/greatmigration.

Photo courtesy of The Great Migration Centennial