I would like to establish my Blues Camp next Summer (2019) in Puerto Rico on a college campus where kids 12 to 18 can come learn and perform the Blues at no cost to the people of Puerto Rico. Leading up to that time we can do benefit concerts to collect food and other goods for them, while here in Chicago.
Blues Kids of America was established in Chicago in 1990 by Fernando Jones. He later established Blues Camp at Columbia College Chicago on July 5th, 2010 with 77 Blues Kids ranging from 7 to 18 years old. Since then, it has expanded to The American Theatre (Hampton, VA), The Fender Center for the Performing Arts (Corona, CA), Galveston College (Galveston, TX), and Huston-Tillotson University (Austin, TX), California State University at Los Angeles, The New World School of the Arts / Miami Dade College (Miami, FL), The Premises Recording Studios in London, England, Tokyo School of Music (Tokyo, Japan), and McPhail Center for Music.
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 and music as a second language.
Live or online auditions for admission may be held. I will travel to Puerto Rico to observe the auditions.
Permission Waivers & Medical Forms
These forms will be sent electronically to the parents/guardians of the participants. In order to enter into Blues Camp, in addition to passing the audition, these forms must be completed by the deadline set.
Traditional Ensemble Size(s)
• 3 to 5 ensembles with 25 to 50 student musicians in total per camp.
We may even have student musicians from the continental USA attend.
• 7 to 12 student musicians in each ensemble (depending on instrumentation, of course).
Ensemble Instrumentation (may include but not be limited to):
Drums and percussions, bass, 2 to 4 guitars (2 rhythm, 2 lead), 1 to 2 Keyboards, 1 to 4 horns, harmonica, a 4 to 8 piece string section and 3 to 4 vocalists.
Classroom/Ensemble Room Space Requirements
2 to 4 ensemble or multipurpose rooms w/backline gear (bass amp, 4 guitar amps, keyboard + amp, drum kit, 2 microphones + PA system in each room); 1 auditorium or main multipurpose room for the morning assembly.
Frequently asked Questions
Q. How much does it cost to attend Blues Camp?
A. Not a dime. Students that pass the audition are awarded tuition waiver scholarships and even get a t-shirt.
Q. Who are the instructors?
A. We have a cadre of world-class Chicago Blues educators/players.
Q. We live abroad and would like to attend, is it just for America kids?
A. If your child passes the audition they are welcome to attend. In the past, we have had student musicians attend from far away as Europe.
Q. How can I support the Blues Kids Foundation and Blues Camp?
A. Send us an email to and tell us what your interests are.
Q. Can I donate airplane travel "miles" and gift cards to the foundation?
Q. How old does my child have to be to participate in Blues Camp?
A. We promote the age group of 12 to 18. However, if they are 9 or 10 year old, mature and can play at the level of the others, then they’ve got a good chance.
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM Meet and Greets
8:30 AM Student/Parent Orientation
8:45 AM Ensemble Sessions Start
11:15 AM Ensemble Sessions End
11:30 AM Ensemble Performance
12:30 PM Dismissal
Culminating Concert at the end of the week.