Isaac & Ravinia Team,
It has been a dream of mine since childhood, over five decades ago, to have a centrally located place where student musicians could come and play the Blues in a nurturing, organized, professional environment together. Fast-forwarding to adulthood, my dream has come to fruition. We have successfully established Blues Camp International in Tokyo, London, Cuba, and on college campuses from California to Florida.
I’d like to invite you to join our team as an official global strategic partner. Ravinia and Blues Kids Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered charity — Reach Teach Play and Blues Camp International. How does this sound?
With Ravinia as an international/community partner, Blues Kids Foundation would like to:
1. Promote and champion Diversity and Equitable Inclusion by giving underserved children in Lawndale (the Westside) and Markham, IL (Chicago’s Southland) access to America’s roots music through the lens of Blues Ed. programming.
2. Establish, in 2023, four quarterly Blues Ed. programming that will include one family friendly Blues Camp Fest on site at Ravinia; one hands-on music workshop for children and adults; one Professional Development session for Chicago Public Schools teachers and administrators and one official Blues Camp audition that will lead to enrollment.
3. Invite your team to volunteer during the week of July 10, 2022 at Blues Camp Chicago in preparation for our 2023/2024 collaboration.
Click + download the PDF brochure.
• • •
"[Fernando] you are one in a million trying to get to the bottom of the barrel of the Blues.”
Buddy Guy | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Member
(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
"Ravinia-Lawndale Duet Hits Right Notes with Community."
Bechetta Jackson | Chicago Tribune
Click here for the Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge Standards 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.
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.