Blues Kids Foundation in partnership with

The Music Center at Columbia College Chicago presents

Fernando Jones’ 12th Annual Blues Camp International

Sunday, July 4 to Friday, July 9, 2021 | 8:00A to Noon Monday to Friday

Extra Curricular Performances TBD

Contact us on how your Blues Kid can attend: | (312) 369-3229

Read the latest press from the Chicago Tribune on Blues Camp here. (Click Here)

"[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."

Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune (Click for article)

Blues Kids Foundation and the Music Center at Columbia College Chicago are proud to be on the cutting edge of Blues andragogy and pedagogy with Fernando Jones' 12th Annual Blues Camp International. While respecting science during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will have an interactive remote and/or an in-person Blues Camp (contingent upon the World Health Organization’s data). Local, national and international student musicians ages 12 to 18 can audition for placement between now and May 15, 2021. Placement is for beginner, intermediate and advanced level vocalists and instrumentalist. We do not discriminate. All a student musician has to do is pass the audition to participate. That's it!


We are not looking for the best "Blues Kid" players in the world. We are looking for the Blues Kid who wants to be in this program. However, they must audition with one of the songs below, first, not one of their choosing. Then we will do our best to place them by their skillset according to our Blues Camp ensemble instrumentation need(s) and position availability. Here are the Kennedy Center ArtsEdge Standards we useThanks for making us your charity of choice.


For more information on how you and your Blues Kid can be part of this experience visit or email us at or call us (312) 369-3229.

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. 

Media Contact:

James McMurray (773) 519-4843 •

• • •

About the Founder

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 where he is on faculty as founding Blues Ensemble director in the Music Department. on July 4th, the day before, there was a kick-off celebration on the site of the old Chess Records at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue. 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." 

Mr. Jones is also a 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; that inspiration led him to teaching himself how to play guitar when he was just four years old.

He is a highly sought-after lecturer focusing on music pedagogy and literacy improvement whose clientele has included 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 to name but two of his professional acknowledgements.

​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 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.

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

• 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

• Represent 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 with a focus on the future.

• Use critical thinking skills and collaborate with others.

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


Learning Outcomes

For Student Musicians To:

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

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

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

• Accompany vocalist with proper volume control, fills and chords.

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

• Perform as “one” in an ensemble setting.

• Demonstrate basic Blues patterns such as 8-bar and 12-bar Blues.

• Demonstrate the call-and-response.

• Play songs effectively without guitar or piano solos.

• Perform a 15 to 20 minute set of music at a professional level with confidence.

• Demonstrate the art of the groove.

Photo by Glenn Kaupert | Click link to download flyer.

From 2022

1. Ms. Murphy Webb's Ensemble

(w/Ms. Cannon, Blues Camp Alumn)

These songs may be performed in whole or in medley form.


Blues Camp Theme Song

Chicago (Has Got Everything You Need)

by Fernando Jones

Chicago (Has Got Everything You Need)

Words & music by Fernando Jones 6/8/98

©1998 Bluefunkjazroll Music, BMI | Version for Video July 2020


Verse 1

Chicago (Repeat)

Has got everything you need. (Repeat)
I said, ‘Chicago (Repeat)

Has got everything you need. (Repeat)

We've got a Great Lake and gold-plated streets.’


Verse 2

We've got hot dogs (Repeat)

And championship teams. (Repeat)
We've got Soul Food (Repeat)

And championship teams. (Repeat)

We're the City that Works with a skyline that's mean!


The Beak Down

We've got . . . theaters and . . . movie shows.
For a . . . couple of bucks go where you want to go.

I said, ‘Chicago . . . (Repeat)

Has got everything you need. (Repeat)

We've got a Great Lake and gold plated streets.’


Verse 3

Whenever I need a reason (Repeat)

A reason to smile. (Repeat)
I said, ‘Whenever I need a reason (Repeat)

A reason to smile (Repeat)

I go window shopping on the Magnificent Mile.’


Verse 4

C-H-I (Repeat) C-A-G-O (Repeat)

C-H-I (Repeat) C-A-G-O (Repeat)

Chicago! Chicago!


Verse 5

Chicago's got everything you need. I said, ‘Chicago's got everything you need.

We've got a Great Lake and gold plated streets.’


Outro Verse

Chicago (Repeat) Has always got something new. (Repeat)

Chicago (Repeat) Has always got something new. (Repeat)

Chicago welcomes you.

Song Poole

Sing in Unison (Song Pool)

Sunny by Bobby Hebb

Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley


Lean on me


Oye Como Va


Let the Good Times Roll by Louis Jordan



Individual Parts Assigned

Oil and Water by Nellie Travis ?v=BsDX5t5nGP0


She’s Got Everything but a Man by Jackie Scott


Walked from the West Side by Foree Superstar

• • •

The Voices

of Blues Camp 

Blues Kids Ensemble

Zach King

Joshua Franklin

Brooklyn Thomas

Deilani Washington

Joshua Franklin

Layla Hammond

Ava Hernandez

Emmanuel Young

Sariah Johnson

Dream Townsend

Dakota Atkins

Robert Lloyd

Joshua Matthews

Jeremy Mcgaha 2nd

Zhaya Hunter

Kailey Price

Kennedi Price

Calise Crawford

Annette Winburn

Mahagani Walls

Lennox Lassandrello

Kassidy McFowler

Sophia McCree

Leila Taylor

Kennedi Price

Kandle Williams

Dillan Jeffery

Bryaa Veals

Kierra Thomas

Clarke Dawson

2nd Blues Ensemble to play with

Charlie Bienemy, Piano

2. Mr. Jones' Ensemble

(w/Mr. Sam Jones, Blues Camp Alumn)

Mississippi Hippie (Audio file will be added by tomorrow)

Stone Rollin' Dash by Raphael Sadiq

Pass the Peas by The JBs

100 Yard Dash by Raphael Sadiq

You Got to Earn it by the Temptations

I Want a Pretty Woman by Barkin’ Bill

Blues Kids Ensemble
More Blues Kids will be added

Jayden F, Vocals

Nickolas Watson, Bass

Otis Nieto, Guitar

JoJo Robertson, Drums

Floyd Carroll, Drums

Jakyla Allen

Nermiah Johnson

Senola Johnson

Fatima Jones

3. Mr. Crews' Ensemble

(w/Ms. Gayun Cannon, Blues Camp Alumn)
You Got to Earn it by the Temptations


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


All Blues by Miles Davis


Thrill is Gone by BB King

I Want a Pretty Woman by Barkin’ Bill

Hide Away by Freddie King


She's Got Everything But A Man by Jackie Scott

See MP3


Suavecito by Malo

Blues Kids Ensemble

More Blues Kids might be added

Jaden Allen, Vocals

Solomon Hill, Drums

Noah Norris, bass

Jada Carroll, Violin

Emily Leckie, Vocals

Victor Betson, Violin

Jeremiah Lloyd, Bass

Rebecca Eguena, Guitar

Marquez, Guitar

Keyanna Baker, Keyboard

Dallas Hardrick, Drum

Xavier Poole, Drums

4. Mr. Navarro's Ensemble

(w/Mr. Jacobi Irvin, Blues Camp Alumn)

Since You’ve Been Gone by Aretha Franklin

Dime and a Quarter by Nellie Travis

Smokin’ Gun by Robert Cray

What Does It Take by Junior Walker

Rescue Me by Fontella Bass

Blues Kids Ensemble

More Blues Kids might be added

Damarion Kyles, MC and bass

Jeremiah Vander Reyden

Gage McFowler, Sax

Golden Eguenu, Bass

Jared Hernandez, Guitar

KM, Drums

Rowan Mitchell, Vocals

Lauren Johnson

5. Mr. Levin's Ensemble

(w/Mr. Max Hernandez, Blues Camp Alumn)

The Mess Around by Ray Charles

The Funky Chicken by Rufus Thomas

Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin


Last Night by the Mar-Keys


I Want Money by Barrett Strong

In Love with The Blues by Marilynn Claire
See track


Blues Kids Ensemble

More Blues Kids might be added

Charlie Bienemy, Piano

Alexander King, Piano

Reid Ballard

Ophelia Lassandrello, Vocals

6. Mr. McFowler's Ensemble

(w/Ms. Stacy Norris, Blues Camp Alumn)


Last Night by the Mar-Keys

Lift Every Voice and Sing by James W. Johnson and John R. Johnsons


Last Night by the Mar-Keys

Peter Gunne Theme

Pride and Joy by Marvin Gaye

Blues Kids Ensemble

More Blues Kids might be added

Delaney Hodges, Guitar

Amir Owens, Guitar

James Ballard, Drums

2nd ensemble to play with.

Xavier Poole, Drums

Floyd Carroll, Drums 

Reserve Songs

Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton


A Tisket a Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald


At Last by Etta James


Scatting by Ella Fitzgerald