The 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival expands to four days with a special opening night concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park the evening of Thursday, June 6 featuring a line-up of the genre’s next generation headlined by Shemekia Copeland. Friday, June 7 the festival moves to Grant Park where Bobby Rush kicks-off the festival’s journey from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago and the world.
The 2013 Chicago Blues Festival is “Rollin’ Up the River” celebrating the blues with a musical journey up the Mississippi. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s there was a “great migration” of African Americans from the southern United States to Chicago. During that period, the “delta blues” landed in the “the promised land,” establishing the foundation for the genre’s electric guitar sound known as the “Chicago blues” style. The voyage will start in New Orleans, Louisiana and Mississippi on Friday then to Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday ending in Chicago on Sunday, where the blues electrified the world.
Celebrating the future of blues music, the festival will open for the first time in Millennium Park on June 6. Shemekia Copeland (crowned the “new” Queen of the Blues in 2011) will headline the evening with special guest, blues guitar prodigy and Buddy Guy collaborator, Quinn Sullivan. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with openers Blues Kids of America followed by Jamiah on Fire & The Red Machine.
Highlights of the festival in Grant Park will include music on five stages: The Petrillo Music Shell, Bud Light Crossroads Stage, Pepsi Front Porch, Mississippi Juke Joint and Windy City Blues Society Stage. The festival will also pay special tribute to Delmark Records on its 60th anniversary and a centennial celebration of blues legend, Pinetop Perkins. The full line-up will be announced later this spring.
May is “Blues Month” in Chicago featuring a number of performances at various Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations throughout the City. Blues music will fill the halls of the Chicago Cultural Center during May as part of the popular LunchBreak Series each Tuesday and Thursday at 12:15, as well as Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. A preview on Daley Plaza is set for Monday, June 3.
The 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival is presented by the City of Chicago and produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with the following sponsors: Aquafina, Bud-Light, Communications, Pepsi, Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division, Louisiana Association of Convention and Tourism Bureaus, 93 XRT, Communications Direct, LaGrou Distribution System and the Chicago Transit Authority.
For more information please call (312) 744-3316 or visit www.chicagobluesfestival.us for updates. To plan your trip to Chicago for the Blues Festival this June 6-9 visit www.choosechicago.com. Join the blues conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.