"[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."
"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)
Rust College Memorandum of Understanding
Fernando Jones’ Blues Camp Mississippi at Rust College
150 Rust Ave, Holly Springs, MS 3863
Sunday, June 19 – Friday, 24, 2022
Monday to Friday 8:00A to 11:30A or 8:30A to Noon
Click here for 2022 Blues Camp International audition application.
Click here to download the Blues Kid of the Year Contest application.
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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 use. Thanks for making us your charity of choice.
For more information on how you and your Blues Kid can be part of this experience visit BluesKids.com/EarlyBird or email us at Info@BluesKids.com.
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.
James McMurray (773) 519-4843 • Info@BluesKids.com
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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.
Click here for the Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge Standards that we use.
Oral and Written Quizzes
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.
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.