The Blues Capital Of The World
Chicago Blues Festival
Expanding its rhythmic riffs from three days to four and returning for its 30th annual edition, the Chicago Blues Festival is this year entitled ‘Rollin’ Up The River’ and will run from June 6-9. Hailed as the world’s largest free blues festival, this year’s theme is an ode to the stateside arrival of the delta blues during the 1940s and 50s. Taking the music scene by storm and becoming an instant hit, this popular genre has the migration of African-Americans into the Windy City to thank for its electric guitar sound still known today as the ‘Chicago Blues’.
Marked by a special opening night concert held in Millennium Park, headliners include ‘Queen of the Blues’ Shemekia Copeland along with guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan, Jamiah On Fire and The Red Machine, before the jazz-filled celebration moves to the festival’s usual location in Grant Park. Along with panel discussions and laid-back lectures, other shows across the next three days will take place on famed stages like the Petrillo Music Shell. Performance highlights range from Bobby Rush and his Blues Band on Friday, Saturday sets from the much-loved Otis Clay and Chicago favourite Ronnie Baker Brooks, before the musical talents of John Primer and harmonica legend James Cotton delight audiences as the festival draws to a close on Sunday. Keep on rollin’!