Altruistic Music Fest 2021.jpg
Blues Camp 2020.jpg

Cheryl and Paula

(Blues Camp Grant Journal from Fernando Jones)

Sunday, July 5 to July 10, 2020

• Blues Camp Online

Friday, April 24, 2020 | 9:01P

• Blues Camp will be online July 5-10. We should have a minimum of 25 youths enrolled.

• We have rescheduled the Altruistic Music Festival for Saturday, June 26, 2021. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020 | 6:30P

I'm happily keeping you all in the loop during this time of crisis, The work done so far with the grant support has been chronicled and posted here at as always.

We all hope that this pandemic will go away ASAP. As per Blues Camp and the activities surrounding it this year, we will have no way of knowing what the government, City of Chicago or Columbia College Chicago will plan for social distancing during that time. Columbia has canceled our May 2020 graduation. They originally suggested we open campus during the week of April 8th. The date may now change after the latest presidential press conference moments ago – he is now suggesting that We the people keep the things the way they are for at least an additional 30 days to help bring the “curve” down for more manageable numbers. If this is the case, we are as a country shut down, theoretically, until the top of May.


Antidote: As long as the Chicago team can have access to our Chicago Public Schools partner schools and the Blues Kids there (Whitney Young, Metcalfe, Dyett, Kenwood, Hughes, and Southland College Prep) in mid to late May and early June we can still pull off a successful Blues Camp and June 27th fundraiser because we will have a built in pool of at least 80 to 100 Blues Kids.


Plan A

• If CoVid-19 declines and Columbia is open.

• Blues Fest Blues Camp Store participation unknown for the first week of June.

• June 27: Logan Center / Fundraiser Concert
• I’ve heard nothing from Columbia so far.


Plan B

• We will pick up next June of 2021.

• Reschedule showcase for Fall.

• Online option to keep the Blues Kids and families engaged.


• Do Blues Camp Day / October, a Saturday

Plan C: 2021

(If Plan B doesn’t work out)

• We will reschedule for June 2021.

• Blues Camp Chicago July 5-10, 2020 Blues Camp Chicago July 4 to 9.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Will you save these dates and make an appearance, especially on Saturday, June 27th and during Blues Camp?  You and your entire team are invited to attend.


Friday, November 29, 2019

This page is set-up for you to be able to follow the progress of the project. Here, I'll keep a journal up to the minute. Over the last two weeks contact has been made with Foundations College Prep, Owen School and Metcalfe Community Academy for their workshop session dates. Walter Dyett High School for the Arts and Whitney Young Magnet High School have been contacted as well for theirs.

The plan is to exceed expectations of the grant by visiting additional sites doing one day pop-ups. The reasoning: If we are able to secure Allstate funding for 2021 this will give us a built in audience to expand to 5 to 7 Blues Camp Workshop week sessions concept of "X" amount of schools.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

I piloted the first day of the first school workshop at Foundations College Prep today. We had 25 8th grade students. On Monday we will have an additional 25 more; next week we will finish the first "round" with this site. On Friday, December 6th, we will have a concert for and with them at 8AM. In the Spring we will circle back for a few more sessions and have them ready for the June 27th event at the Logan Center for the Arts, 4P to 10P.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Blues Kids Foundation's End of Year Fundraiser

Chicago Federation of Musicians Loft

Click here for flyer. I'd like to invite you and your team/family.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Blues Camp Day Interactive Concert at Tonti Elementary School. We donated a case of woodwind proper care books also. Next year, this'll be a good school to do a weeklong program.

See video of the principal's feedback.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Blues Camp Day Interactive Concert at Esmond Elementary School. 

Next year, this'll be a good school to do a weeklong program.

See video of the principal's feedback.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Blues Camp Day Interactive Concert at the Aurora Township Youth Service Center.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Blues Kids Foundation Fundraiser at the Chicago Center for Arts and Technology.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Blues Camp Day Interactive Concert at the 25th District Police Station.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Haines Elementary School. This concert introduced an ethnically diverse group 2nd graders to the Blues. Next year, this'll be a good school to do a weeklong program.

See video of the principal's feedback.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Blues Camp Day at Columbia College Chicago. We worked with student musicians in preparation for Blues Camp in July. See video. Click here for flyer.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hughes Elementary School. We performed before the middle school students and got the teachers and administrative team involved in the concert.

Next year, this'll be a good school to do a weeklong program.

See video of the principal's feedback.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Powell Elementary School. We introduced the 2nd graders to the Blues and also got the teachers and administrative team involved in the concert. 

Next year, this'll be a good school to do a weeklong program.

See video of the principal's feedback.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Owen Scholastic Academy (Elementary School).

Concert for the entire student body during a Black History Month assembly.

March 2020 (Rescheduled due to CoVid-19)

Dyett School of the Arts

Southland College Prep

Saturday, June 27, 2020 (On Hold due to CoVid-19)

Altruistic Music Festival by Fernando Jones

(Blues Kids from all of the schools will perform as well as pros)

Logan Center for the Arts

Click here for flyer. This will be the grand showcase.

July 5 to 10, 2020 (Still scheduled so far)

Fernando Jones' Blues Camp International at Chicago

Columbia College Chicago

1014 S. Michigan Avenue

Click here for flyer.

Cancelled by Corona - 19

• Sunday, July 5th - Meet & Greet at Motor Row Brewing Co. | 3P to 5P

• Monday, July 6th to 10th - Blues Camp at Columbia College | 8A to 12P

• Tuesday, July 7th - Picnic and concert at South Shore Cultural Center | 12P to 4P

• Wednesday, July 8th - Performance at Reggie’s Rock Club | 6P to 10P

• Thursday, July 9th - Performance at Navy Pier | 12P to 5P

• Friday, July 10th - Finale Performance at Columbia College Chicago | 12P to 4P

• Administrator Request for Blues Camp Workshops

• Site Evidence Docs

• Instructor Docs

• Receipts

• Student Survey

Thanks Partner

By making Blues Kids Foundation an Allstate Foundation community partners you are helping ensure a diverse, cultural, social and emotional enrichment opportunity for Blues Kids locally. Your support is also helping sustain current programs such as our free international Blues Camp here in Chicago and music workshops that empower youths, the Blues Kid of the Year Contest, and professional development sessions for educators, parents/guardians and community members.


I established Blues Kids Foundation in 2010. It is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. Our mission is to preserve, perform and promote the Blues among America's youth, parents and educators under the tutelage of highly qualified instructors; our focus is Social & Emotional Learning, Literacy and Music as a Second Language; our Blues Kids of America program was created in 1989, here in Chicago.

Global Impact

Fernando Jones’ Blues Camp International is presented in performing arts centers and institutes of higher learning in America, Asia and Europe annually, and is free for all participants. Each Blues Kid receives a tuition waiver scholarship. The technology and resources invested in each of them has a value range of $1,500 to $2,500. This priceless, fun-filled opportunity is designed to impact the life of a Blues Kid who simply wants to experience this cultural enrichment opportunity in an organic, nurturing environment with like-minded others. View the graphic below to see where our programs have been since 2010.


  • Keep Blues youthful and exciting, while preserving and building on the past.

  • Learn the importance of the Blues from a sociological and historical perspective with a focus on the future, while representing student musicians as scholars and achievers.

  • Introduce this American art form to new audiences, globally.

  • Use critical thinking skills, while collaborating with others.

  • Apply practical skills learned in class in a culminating activity on stage.

Learning Outcomes

  • Improve music literacy by learning and playing songs by ear and reading tabs + chord charts.

  • Communicate using cross-generational/regional “Blues” language.

  • Use proper dynamics to ensure appropriate volume levels for vocalists and songs.

  • Critique and self-evaluate performances and provide feedback to others.

  • Perform as “one” in an ensemble setting.

2020 Donor Downloadable Brochure