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CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL

June 8-10, 2018 • Free Admission • Millennium Park

There’s a reason blues musicians sing about “Sweet Home Chicago.” Chicago historically has been a beacon to musicians looking for bigger crowds and more places to play. Following the “Great Migration,” Southern blues musicians made Chicago one of the country's major hotspots for blues music.

Fittingly, the annual Chicago Blues Festival is the city's largest music festival. More than 500,000 blues fans prove that Chicago is the "Blues Capital of the World."

In continuing with four decades of tradition, the Chicago Blues Festival will celebrate the genre's rich heritage and forthcoming talents with three days of performances — all FREE and open to the public, no tickets required. And all within breathtaking Millennium Park.

Take a sneak peak at Headline Performers.

Check out Performance Schedule Updates.

Find Blues Festival Preview Performance information.

YOU'LL BE BLUE IF YOU MISS IT

June 8 – Jay Pritzker Pavilion

65th Anniversary of Delmark Records Celebration
Features a tribute to Bob Koester and performances in honor of legendary Denmark artists such as Sleepy John Estes by Corey Dennison and Gerry Hundt, Big Joe Williams by Jimmy Burns, Roosevelt Sykes by Ken Saydak, Bonnie Lee by Shirley Johnson, Willie Kent by Guy King, Jimmy Dawkins by Billy Flynn and Linsey Alexander, J.B.Hutto by Lil’ Ed and Dave Weld, Big Time Sarah by Demetria Taylor and Tomiko Dixon, Carey Bell by Lurrie Bell and Steve Bell, Magic Sam by Jimmy Johnson and Dave Specter, Junior Wells by Omar Coleman.

June 9 – Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Tribute to Blues Harpist Marion Walter Jacobs, aka Little Walter
Featuring Billy Branch, Corky Siegel, Rick Estrin, Sugar Blue, Magic Dick and The Sons of Blues featuring Billy Flynn and Sam Lay.

June 10 – Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Louisiana Bluesman "Real Deal" Kerry Neal
Grammy Award® Winner Mavis Staples

DISCOVER THE CHICAGO BLUES

Budweiser Crossroads Stage (South Chase Promenade)

June 8 
12:15 pm Sharon Lewis
4 pm Linsey Alexander

June 9
1:30 pm Chicago R&B Kings - Honoring Gene Barge
4 pm Sonny Landreth

June 10
11 am Jamiah Rogers
12:15 pm Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience
1:30 pm Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Mississippi Juke Joint Stage (North Chase Promenade)

June 8
11:15 am Panel Discussion featuring Bob Koester of Delmark Records
3 pm Mr. Sipp
4:15 pm Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith Jam Session

June 9
11:15 pm Panel Discussion and Tribute to Little Water
3 pm Eddie Cotton, Jr
4:15 pm Eddie Cotton, Jr Jam Session

June 10
11:15am Rising Stars Fife and Drum, led by Sharde Thomas
Full day of Delta blues with traditional hill country blues

Front Porch Stage (Wrigley Square)

June 8
11 am Blues in the School with Katherine Davis, Tim Gant, Tino Cortes, Alan Burroughs and Stone Academy
2:45pm Lurrie Bell and Eddie Taylor, Jr. with The Bell Dynasty
4 pm Guy King 

June 9 
12:15 pm Alvin Youngblood Hart 
1:30 pm Jontavious Willis 
4 pm Bridges to the Blues set featuring young musicians selected by Donda’s House as part of Chicago’s Year of Creative Youth initiative.

June 10
11 am Blues pianist Erwin Helfer & his Chicago boogie-woogie style
2:45 pm Blind Boy Paxton (pre-World War II blues)
3 pm Valerie and Ben Turner 

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Chicago Blues Festival
35TH ANNUAL CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL