CHICAGO, IL (July 5-10, 2020) – Blues Kids Foundation proudly presents Fernando Jones’ Blues Camp Sunday, July 5th to Friday, July 10th in the Music Center on the campus of Columbia College Chicago. Through this priceless, fun-filled weeklong experience your Blues Kid will learn and perform America’s “roots” music in a structured program with like minded others under the tutelage of highly qualified instructors. Entry is competitive and positions fill-up fast. For more information call (312) 369-3229 or email us at Info@BluesKids.com. Click here for the "Audition Link" for Blues Camp Chicago. Click here for Press Release. Blues Kids can be from anywhere in the world to attend Blues Camp Chicago.
Correct title names to be used for our program:
• Fernando Jones' Blues Camp International
• Fernando Jones' Blues Camp;
• Fernando Jones' Blues Camp Chicago;
• Fernando Jones' Blues Camp (add city, town or country name at the end)
Improper sample names of the program:
• Blues Kids Camp
• Blues Camp for Kids
Internationally known Bluesman Fernando Jones founded Blues Camp, an international program, and established it Monday, July 5, 2010 on the campus of Columbia College Chicago. Jones said, "It has been a dream since childhood to have a centrally located place where children could come and play the Blues in a user friendly, nurturing environment on a college or performing arts campus."
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.
About the Founder
Fernando Jones is a Columbia College Chicago faculty member and the Blues Ensemble founding director. He's also an American Bluesman, educator, songwriter and scholar. Born to loving Mississippi parents on the South Side of Chicago, Jones was inspired by his older brothers, Foree, Marvin and Gregory to play music, and that inspiration led him to teaching himself how to play guitar when he was just four years old.
Jones is a highly sought-after lecturer focusing on music pedagogy and literacy improvement whose clientele includes the Smithsonian Institute and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Buddy Guy said that Fernando Jones is “one in a million trying to get to the bottom of the barrel of the Blues.” The incomparable Fernando Jones is a 21st Century Renaissance man and the 2008 Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipient and a Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee.
Photos by Glenn Kaupert
Blues Camp Protocol & Etiquette
Parents/Guardians & Volunteers: This is the 30th Anniversary year for Blues Kids of America and the 10th Anniversary year for Blues Kids Foundation. Translation: We’re going to have a good time, play and learn more about the Blues and keep the doors open for those to come, within a weeklong party; and the good thing is that we can’t do it without you.
We are fully aware that you could have sent your child to a music camp with a price tag, but chose our tuition waiver program. We promise a priceless experience through the lens of a rigorous, world-class schedule with days filled with live public performances and youth friendly activities.
Blues Kid Protocol & Etiquette: Greeting Adults: Though some “young people” may call their parents and grandparent by their first names at home, here, we are family and community/village cultured, therefore, our Blues Kids and all visiting children, no matter how tall they are, should greet all adults, guests, and instructors properly as Dr., Mr., Ms., Sir, Ma'am, etc. In return, they will be given the same courtesy.
Greeting Fellow Blues Kids: You are peers, no matter what skill level. So if you don't know a Blues Kid’s name, introduce yourself, first, and ask them what their name is. Get to know each other. There is zero tolerance for bullying. This is a safe haven where kids can be kids. This is the Bluesiest Place on Earth because of the Blues Kids’ behavior and adherence to our protocol and etiquette policies in the past; it’s up to the new Blues Kids to help keep the proverbial door of Blues Camp International open for those to come.
Greeting Guests: When a special guest enters the auditorium or ensemble room, stop what you’re doing if possible stand and greet them collectively. If you are performing you will not be interrupted. However, acknowledge them immediately afterwards. Your instructor may even assign one or two of you to be band ambassadors (officers) who will kick-off the welcome message.
What to Bring to Blues Camp: Safety (once you are on campus you will have everything you need to succeed). For safety and security purposes cell phones are to be turned off (not on silent/vibration mode) at all time while on campus. We suggest that they are collected and held by your instructor in their desk, on their desk, in a basket, etc. For the most part, Blues Camp is a No Cell Phone Zone for Blues Kids. We are promoting a full week of Chicago Blues immersion; we encourage the art of human interaction and a de-brief from handheld electronic devices through this social experiment. Blues Kids can turn their phones back on upon dismissal. We do not want any outside influences, interferences, obstructions or distractions during the learning process. You’ll see the benefits on stage throughout the week. If there is an important message from "home” call us. Thanks for the support in advance.
What To and Not To Wear: A combination of two to three pair of long athletic pants, long blue jeans w/belt, long khaki pants w/belt (absolutely no saggin’) and definitely no shorts of any kind. One pair of athletic shoes and socks; one pair of dress shoes or dress boots; White t-shirts are acceptable and may be worn underneath the official camp t-shirt, one cardigan sweater or light jacket, with no branding on the front or back, in case they get cold in their ensemble rooms – may be worn. No hoodies, trench coats, or bulky outerwear. One dark suit (sport coat and dark dress pants), one white dress shirt and tie (boys); one dressy outfit for girls with accessories; one “concert black” outfit for boys and girls. (Google Concert Black Clothing for Concerts); one white outfit for boys and girls for the White Party on Thursday. (Google Dressing for a White Party). For the Monday Pullman Community Center event, Blues Kids can wear athletic wear that may include athletic shorts (that’s perfectly fine).
We will be in ensemble rooms rehearsing with our bands, with the doors closed, no opened windows and in some cases close quarters, so proper hygiene is essential.
School Supplies: Bring three leaded pencils; three black ink pens; two yellow highlighter markers; one folder with loose-leaf paper and manuscript paper; one spiral bound notebook; one three-ring binder. You may bring your IPad/tablet or laptop to read charts or pull up songs for reference during class. If you do, make sure to take your devices home with you everyday. Don't leave anything of value overnight.
Homework: The expectation is that each Blues Kid will be prepared each day of class – knowing their parts because each band member is depending on each other to make one good sound.
Attendance: Mandatory! It’s just 6 day out of The 93 days of Summer. We are counting on parents/guardians to enforce this. They will get plenty of rest on Saturday, July 13th. They will be busy all week, guaranteed. But they’ll be better players for it. Are you ready?
Gear to Bring: Each room will have backline gear for a basic Blues combo: Piano and/or an electric keyboard, one drum kit with hardware and cymbals, conga drums, three Cube guitar amps, one bass amp, a PA system with two to four microphones and stands.
Depending on the final ensemble configurations be prepared to bring your instrument(s) of choice; reeds, etc.; cable/cord(s) are a must; drum sticks; snare drum; drum key and a great, unselfish attitude. We will supply guitar and bass strings. Don’t bring guitar pedal boards. Do not leave gear, especially guitars, in you cars unattended after camp, after/during the concerts or overnight. Someone’s always watching musicians for easy pickings.
Promo Pictures: We will take at least one group class photo. Photos will be available to you on Friday. We will also take photos and make mini thank you videos for our strategic partners. Blues Camp t-shirts must we worn every day. Extra t-shirts may be purchased.
Bring a Friend to School Day (Thursday): This has been a wonderful thing at Blues Camp. It allows some of our Blues Kids to invite some of their family and friends to campus to observe what’s what. Remember to factor in how they will get to and from Navy Pier that Day, too (see schedule). For security and safety purposes their parents/guardians will have an online form to fill out. It will be sent in an email before camp. That form will be available at the latest by July 1, 2020.
Song Selections: All songs will be age appropriate. Rest assured, that there will be no singing songs of angels spreading their wings; songs will be challenging and appropriate for the skill set of the ensemble. That’s why the audition process is so important, it helps us give proper assessment of their abilities; and this helps us place your Blues Kid in the right ensemble. Some players may play in more than one ensemble . . . just because. For example, the horn section may be an ensemble onto itself and support other ensembles by playing on some of their and enhancing them. Sometimes an advanced player or two may even volunteer to support the entry level younger Blues Kids. It’s one big happy family.
Blues Mamas & Daddies: This is a concept based on including the entire family and led by Ms. Lawnicki. The week will be a nonstop party so why can’t the adults have a piece of the pie, too? If any parent/guardian, volunteer, etc. wants to be in the Blues Mamas & Daddies email us at Info@BluesKids.com. Add Blues Mamas & Daddies in the subject field.
Parking Tips at The Music Center at Columbia College Chicago 1014 S. Michigan Ave.
There is metered parking on the North side of the Music Center between Michigan & Wabash; and all along Wabash on the West side of the Music Center. There is a parking lot on Wabash between 10th and 11th & Wabash. There is a discounted early bird rate before 8:00A entrance. There is no in and out privilege here.
Lodging: We do not provide lodging. We have special Blues Camp rates right across the street for Blues Camp at the Best Western Grant Park Hotel, 1100 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago Il, 60605 Contact: Marites Capalad, Senior Sales Manager | P: (312) 294-2405 F: (312) 922-0134.
Click image to see proper Blues Camp daily + event dress code.