Blues at the Logan Center

Chicago’s South Side was once the burgeoning mecca of the Chicago Blues. While the immortal influence of Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Willie Dixon thrive around the world, the presence of this powerful African American folk music has all but dissipated on the South Side. The Logan Center has taken giant strides to bring this cultural legacy to the forefront of South Side culture by featuring the Chicago Blues in 3 significant events: 1) BluesFest; 2) School Music Programs; and 3) a Monthly Blues series in Café Logan.

OCT 13-15, 2017

The Logan Center launched the Logan Center Bluesfest in Fall 2017. The inaugural event, held October 13-15, featured performances by celebrated artists and local legends, as well as workshops and educational programming to inspire the next generation of blues musicians and aficionados.

The festival was also accompanied by a photography exhibition that celebrated Chicago's vibrant blues and jazz. The juried exhibition was held in conjunction with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Over 1,000 people participated in the festivals concerts, presentations, workshops, film screenings, and panels.

2017 Artists

2017 highlights

2017 schedule

Chicago Jazz and Blues: A Photographers' View - Exhibition on 1st and 2nd Floors of the Logan Center


  • 6-7pm: Acoustic Blues Lounge with The Roots Duo, Eric Noden and Joe Filisko, Free, Café Logan

  • 7pm: Pre-show Conversation with Dick Shurman and Elvin Bishop

    • Free with ticket purchase for 8pm concert, Logan Center Performance Hall

  • 8pm: Elvin Bishop Big Fun Trio, and Wee Willie Walker & Terrie Odabi with The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra

    • $25 adults, $5 21 and under, Logan Center Performance Hall


  • 2-3pm: Free Youth Workshop: Blues 101 with Fruteland Jackson (6-10 yr olds), Room 028 in the Logan Center

  • 2-3pm: Free Workshop: The Blues Harmonica according to Joe Filisko, Room 603 in the Logan Center

  • 2-3:15pm: Free Youth Workshop with Fernando Jones (10-15 year olds), Logan Center Performance Penthouse

  • 3-4 pm: Free Workshop: 1920's and 30's Blues Guitar Styles with Eric Noden, Room 028 in the Logan Center

  • 3-4pm: Free Workshop: Warming Up for Lyric and Emotion with Terrie Odabi, Room 703 in the Logan Center

  • 3:30pm: Free Youth Performance with Fernando Jones’ Blues Kids, Logan Center Performance Penthouse, Free

  • 4-5pm: Acoustic Blues Lounge with Fruteland Jackson, Free, Café Logan

  • 5-6:30pm: Blues BBQ – Mike Ledbetter Trio

    • $10 concert / $20 with dinner, Logan Center Performance Penthouse

  • 6:30-7:30pm: Pre-concert conversation with headlining artists – led by Billy Branch, Logan Center Performance Hall

    • Free with ticket purchase for 8pm concert, Logan Center Performance Hall

  • 8pm: Bringing the Blues Back to the South Side: Hosted by Billy Branch, Featuring: Jimmy Johnson, Eddy Clearwater, Corky Siegel, Lil’ Ed, and Melody Angel

    • $25 adults, $5 21 and under, Logan Center Performance Hall

  • 10pm: Pro-Am Jam led by Kenny Smith, Logan Center Performance Penthouse, Free


  • 11:30-1:30pm: Blues Brunch with Mark Naftalin, Logan Center Performance Penthouse

    • $20, includes concert and brunch

  • 2-3pm: Panel: "Future of the Blues," panelists include Billy Branch, Deitra Farr, Melody Angel and Mike Ledbetter, moderated by Professor Mickie Dietler, Logan Center Performance Hall

  • 4pm: “Horn from the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story,” the Midwest Premiere of the first documentary about the legendary blues harp player, and featuring a pre-screening performance with stars of the film Corky Siegel and Sam Lay and a post-show panel with the film's director, John Anderson, and Executive Producer, Sandra Warren, and Sam Lay, Mark Naftalin, and Corky Siegel. Free, Logan Center Performance Hall


Background picture: Ruthie Foster