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"The non-profit Blues Kids Foundation holds annual Fernando Jones Blues summer camps, 

where students as young as eight or nine years old hone their chops."

Rolling Stone Magazine (Click for article)

"[Fernando] you are one in a million trying to get to the bottom of the barrel of the Blues.

Buddy Guy (Click to see photo of the two)


"Unlike Jazz camps, camps that focus on the Blues are a rarity.

[Fernando] Jones’ Blues Camps have become an annual rite of Summer."

Downbeat (Click for article)

"Few Chicago Blues musicians have done more to nurture

the next generation of talent than guitarist Fernando Jones."

Chicago Tribune (Click for article)

• • •

Welcome to Blues Camp Chicago

Blues Camp Chicago Schedule (Download)

at Columbia College Chicago's Music Center

1014 S Michigan Avenue

Sunday, July 7 thru Friday, July 12th, 2024

• • •

Blues Camp International is supported by and brought to you in part by: Knotty Luxe Arts Foundation, Mary Barnes Donnelley Family Foundation, Lefort-Martin Fund, Tom Liebman, DCASE, NBC 5 Chicago, Venue OverDrive, PERT Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program, Chicago Federation of Musicians (Local 10-208), Rotary Club of Chicago, Facebook / Network for Good, Navy Pier Chicago, D’Addario Foundation, The Chicago (IL) Metro Chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, M.U.S.T Foundation, Bobbie’s Screen Printing, and Bikes & Music.

• • •

Blues Kids Foundation and its Blues Angels are proud to be on the cutting edge of Blues andragogy and pedagogy with Fernando Jones' 15th Annual Blues Camp International on the campus of Columbia College Chicago in the Music Center. Local, national and international student musicians ages 12 to 18 can be involved with Blues Camp by auditioning for placement between now and July 7th. Placement is for beginner, intermediate and advanced level vocalists and instrumentalist. To find out how, visit or call us at (779) BluesMe.

We are not looking for the best "Blues Kid" players in the world. We are looking, however, for the Blues Kid who wants to be in a music program with like-minded others. Here are the Kennedy Center ArtsEdge Standards we use.

The Blues Kids Foundation is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. We were established to preserve, perform and promote the Blues among America's youth, parents and educators under the tutelage of highly qualified instructors. Our focus is on education, literacy, social emotional learning and music as a second language.

• • •

Blues Kids Foundation Friends

WGN TV, One Brick Foundation, Thinking Computers, Downbeat Magazine, the Society Incorporated, The Chicago Chapter for the Arts, DCASE, Reggie’s Rock Club, Edward G. Irvin Foundation, Music Box Foundation, and A Sound Education.

Blues Camp Education Partners

Columbia College Chicago, B.B. King Museum and Interpretive Center (MS), Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, KOP Mentoring Network (FL), Tokyo School of Music and Dance, Chicago Public Schools (Metcalfe, Hendricks, Esmond, Powell Paideia Academy, Pershing and Owen), Delta Arts Center (NC), and ETA Creative Arts Foundation.

Download Blues Camp Documents + Forms (Click "Blue")

Blues Camp Brochure

Blues Camp Chicago Schedule

Blues Kid Audition Form

The “How your Blues Kid will get to and from Blues Camp” Form

Blues Camp Emergency Form and Handbook

Parent Volunteer Form

• • •

Blues Camp Song Pool Links

Here are Youtube and SoundCloud links.
1.    Identify the song selections for your group.
2.    Identify song links on this list (list may not be in order).
3.    Click the link below the song or paste it into the URL.
Listen, study, practice and learn the song.
If a song is missing, feel free to look it up on iTunes or YouTube.
Do not email us with song selections. Each list is created based on members, instrumentation, and skill level mastery.

The cool thing about the Blues is that it is based on the oral tradition. This camp is designed to encourage and developing the skill of playing by ear. In most cases, there will be no sheet music . . . so encourage them to develop their ear by “really” listening. However, there may be tabs and charts online they can use, but we are stepping up our game this year. If they can’t find a song, no worries, they can learn it with their own personal private lessons’ instructor.


Entry Level


The Funky Chicken by Rufus Thomas

The Mess Around by Ray Charles


Walkin’ the Dog by Rufus Thomas

Baby What You Want Me to Do by Jimmy Reed


A Tisket a Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald


Time is Tight by Booker T. & The MGs


Walked from the West Side by Foree Superstar


Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton

Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley


Let the Good Times Roll by Louis Jordan


I Want Money by Barrett Strong




Last Night by the Mar-Keys

Since You’ve Been Gone by Aretha Franklin


In Love with The Blues by Marilynn Claire

You’ve Got What it Takes by Dinah Washington & Brook Benton

Thrill is Gone by BB King


Sunny by Bobby Hebb


What Does It Take by Junior Walker

Oil and Water by Nellie Travis ?v=BsDX5t5nGP0


Oye Como Va


Who do You Love by Bo Diddley


Rescue Me by Fontella Bass


Messin’ with the Kid by Junior Wells




I Want a Pretty Woman by Barkin’ Bill


Dime and a Quarter by Nellie Travis

Suavecito by Malo

Green Onions by Booker T. & The MGs

Smokin’ Gun by Robert Cray


All Blues by Miles Davis


Stone Rollin' Dash by Raphael Sadiq


Pass the Peas by The JBs

Oil and Water by Nellie Travis ?v=BsDX5t5nGP0

Mississippi Hippie by Fernando Jones


Smoke Stack Lightnin' by Howlin' Wolf

Chicago (Has Got Everything You Need) by Fernando Jones


Hide Away by Freddie King

I Cried Like a Baby by KoKo Taylor


Letter from Mayor Lightfoot.jpg

If you'd like to make us your charity of choice click the secure "Donate" button.

Our Structure

​Assessment Measures

Click here for the Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge Standards that we use.

​Assessment Measures

  • Pre-Course Evaluation

  • Oral and Written Quizzes

  • Homework Assignments

  • Class Participation

  • Rehearsal Performance Prep

  • Concert Performances Evaluation

  • Final Presentation Project

  • Exit Course Evaluation


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

• Provide Blues Kids with the basic skills (musically, socially, emotionally and linguistically) necessary to play proficiently and effectively in a music community.

• Introduce this indigenous American art form to new audiences.

• Use critical thinking skills, while collaborating with others.

• Apply practical skills learned in class in culminating activities on stage.

• Promote digital learning and embrace technology.

• Contributions to the future of the Blues musically, socially and culturally

• Present the next generation of musicians as scholars and proficient players.

• Introduce students to the art of live professional performance.


• Introduce the history of American music through the lens of the Blues.

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

• Represent the next generation of Blues artist as scholars and proficient players + vocalists.

• Learn the importance of the Blues from a sociological and historical perspective focusing on the future.

• Use critical thinking skills and collaborate with others.

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

Blues Camp International
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Blues Camp on Around Chicago at Esmond 2:23

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Blues Camp w/Ana Belaval at Esmond (1:13)

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Blues Camp Florida Short News Clip

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