Chicago Blues Festival Announces 2020 Lineup, Marks Chess Records Anniversary


Shemekia Copeland is set to headline the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on June 5 as part of The Chicago Blues Festival.

(Photo: Mike White)

The Chicago Blues Festival returns to Chicago June 5–7 and marks the 70th anniversary of Chess Records, the label that brought music by Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf to the world.

One day before the festival begins its main slate of programming, Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation and Chicago Blues Revival will host a Record Row walking tour, with a musical celebration to follow at 2120 S. Michigan Ave., where Chess Records was located. Music is set to run from 6 p.m. to 8.

A list of main-stage performers headed to Millennium Park is below.

June 5 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
7:50 p.m.–9: Shemekia Copeland
7 p.m.–7:40: Jimmy Johnson and Billy Branch
5:45 p.m.–6:45: Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling
4:30 p.m.–5:30: Marquise Knox

June 6 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
7:50 p.m.–9: Candi Staton
7 p.m.–7:40: John Primer and Steve Bell
5:45 p.m.–6:45: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
4:30 p.m.–5:30: The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra featuring Terrie Odabi and Sugaray Rayford

June 7 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
7:50 p.m.–9: Eric Gales
7 p.m.–7:40: Erwin Helfer and Katherine Davis
5:45 p.m.–6:45: Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
4:30 p.m.–5:30: Catherine Russell celebrating the Classic Blues Women Centennial

Other performances on ancillary stages include singer Mary Lane and guitarist Cedric Burnside on Friday; guitarists Tab Benoit and Johnny Burgin, and singer Mud Morganfield on Saturday; and singer Johnny Rawls and guitarist Tinsley Ellis on Sunday.

For additional information about the event, visit the City of Chicago homepage. DB

  • 21_Pat_Martino_by_Mark_Sheldon_lo_res.jpg

    Martino dazzled as a player and demonstrated amazing resilience in overcoming life’s challenges.

  • 21_Jamaaladeen_Tacuma.jpeg

    Jamaaladeen Tacuma, one of 52 grant recipients, received $40,000 to return to his hometown in North Carolina and create a music work space .

  • 21_Village_Vanguard.jpg

    The great jazz shrine of The Village Vanguard in New York reopened in September.

    The Village Vanguard Reopens

    The tables were slightly fewer in number. The air filtration system was new. But when the Village Vanguard reopened in…

  • Roy_Hargrove_%C2%A92020_Mark_Sheldon-4803_lo_res.jpg

    Roy Hargrove enters the DownBeat Hall of Fame.

  • 21_Esperanza_Spalding_SFS_by_Drew_Altizer_Photography.jpg

    Esperanza Spalding performing with the San Francisco Symphony.

On Sale Now
December 2021
Roy Hargrove
Look Inside
Print | Digital | iPad