My son, Darryn, always loved music, but his love of Blues began at the Fernando Jones' Blues Camp in 2011. He has since then attended 5 camps over two years, which has brought out a very different side of his musical talents. He has learned how to perform on stage, to improvise without always needing sheet music, play with a band and just have fun with music. In addition to developing his musical abilities he has had the privilege of meeting kids, musically talented like him, from all over the country. He looks forward to Blues Camp every year and says he wouldn't trade it for anything!
Sherry Azevedo (Darryn, Vocals and Keyboard)
My 14 year old son is currently in Blues Camp at Columbia College. His experience at the camp has been wonderful. At the end of each day I have asked him what he thinks about the camp, and each day his response has been more enthusiastic than the prior (and it started with amazing!) . . . he has learned much not only about the Blues but about himself. He has had a great opportunity to connect to not only kids from the Chicago area but from all over. Being able to play at venues such as Old Town School of Folk Music, Reggie's Rock Club and at House of Blues has been quite an opportunity for him, also. As a parent, I have been impressed!
Liz Tertell (Qinn, Violin)
Blues camp helped our son understand the deep history and context of the music he loves. The whole faculty was fantastic.
Dr. Angela Sorby Roth (Jonah, Guitar)
My daughter Fatima was adamant about NOT joining the Blues Kids this year. She even told Mr. Jones that she wouldn't. She came anyway. On day one she met Ms Nellie "Tiger" Travis. On day two she was singing a lead on stage! Blues Camp to her now is the greatest camp ever. She expressed interest in staying until she's 18, then teaching a class. From never to infinity. Gotta Love the Blues. Thank you Mr. Jones.
Yvette Jones (Fatima, Vocals + Sam, Drums)
Every Blues Kid gets to shine while learning to support peers in reaching common goals. Blues Camp is so much more than making GREAT music!
Jack (Colin, Guitar)
Blues Kids camp is an absolutely priceless experience for these kids . . . priceless!
Denise Walker (Chase Walker, Lead Guitar)
During the week at camp our son grew so much as a musician and a young man. He made some wonderful friendships, and the ensemble sessions with his teachers were priceless.
Joanne and David Hewko (Alex, Guitar)
Thank you again for all of your hard work and for making Blues Camp such an amazing experience for us.
Joanne Hewko (Alex), Victoria, B.C. Canada
Fantastic experience! Highlight of our summer! Standing ovation to the "Kids" of BLUES CAMP Chicago and the many volunteers and teachers who made it happen!!!
Rob and Karen Frank (Jared, Bass Guitar)
Blues Camp gave my daughter the opportunity to meet kids that love to jam. Mr. Jones is dynamic and it's because of his vision that these kids can dream.
Brenda Nelson (China, Vocals)
My son Robert Martin Walters returned from blues camp with greater confidence in his playing, new drum licks, and a deeper respect for the blues.
Bobby "Black Hat" Walters (Robert, Drums)
Before this life-changing camp, I used to spend my free time playing video games, basketball or watching television. But all changed when I attended Fernando Jones’ Blues Camp. From the first day of camp I was immersed into the world of blues and thoroughly enjoyed it. This experience was honestly the best experience I have ever had in my life. Since my first Blues camp I have been performing all over town with a group of kids that I met at the camp. None of this would have happened without Blues camp. Thank you Mr. Jones!
Darryn Azevedo (Blues Kid, Vocals and Keyboard)
My son has come a long way since his first Blues Camp three years ago. Camp is a great time to reconnect with old friends and make new friends and gives kids opportunities to network and perform at places they would never have thought they could.
Michelle Domanchuk (August, Guitar)
Here's our quote: My son has read sheet music in Jazz band for 3 years. After attending Blues Camp in Corona, CA his counting, listening & appreciating for the Blues really took off! Looking forward to next year!
Paul LeFort (Ryan, Baritone Saxophone)
Blues camp was such a great experience for my son — he made many new friends, had the opportunity to play in an ensemble and learned so much about this genre of American music ! We hope to be part of this unique camp again next year.
Tess Hartnack (Colin, Keyboard)
My son Sam never wanted to listen to the Blues. He said it was "old people's music". After his audition in the Srping his whole mind set was changed. Now he knows and loves a new "genre" of music. Thank you Mr. Jones.
Yvette Jones (Sam, Drums)
Blues camp was a week of great instruction, friendly kids, and amazing performances. My son gained so much. He plays his guitar everyday. I cannot thank you enough for all the great things that Blues Camp has inspired him to do.
Mary and Bob Scholz (Danny, Guitar)
Blues Camp 2012 significantly impressed and made a positive impact on my daughter, Raven. It not only reinforced her confidence in singing, it instilled new excitement for performing!
Renee' Reeves (Raven, Vocals)
Photos by Tavo Olmos & Glenn Kaupert