Chicago Blues Festival 2015 Lineup: Buddy Guy Headlines

Chicago Blues Festival 2015 Lineup: Buddy Guy Headlines
Buddy Guy. Photo Credit: City of Chicago

Robert Johnson is The Father
Muddy Waters is The Son
Jimi Hendrix is The Holy Spirit

This is the Holy Trinity of The Blues.

Sweet home Chicago, home to the classic Chicago blues style will be navigating Muddy Waters with this year’s soul felt line-up of blues legends from the past to the present at the 32nd Annual Chicago Blues Festival coming to Grant Park June 12th through the 14th.

Chicago legend, Buddy Guy will headline the fest bringing his rhythm and blues to the Petrillo stage on Saturday, June 13, at 8:05 p.m.

Although Muddy Waters died a year before the city’s first citywide Blues Fest in 1984, he’s always been part of the fest–being memorialized in its first year and being celebrated this year at a special centennial concert for Waters and Willie Dixon at the Petrillo Band Shell on Sunday, June 14.

Other big names appearing at this year’s bash include: Taj Mahal Trio, Toronzo Cannon, Syl Johnson, Clarence Carter, Zora Young, Big Bill Morganfield, Mud Morganfield, Bobby Dixon, Alex Dixon and Billy Branch–all who will perform at the Petrillo Music Shell during the three-day festival.


Photo credit: City of Chicago

The Chicago Blues Festival is a FREE admission festival.  Hours are from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. Performances at the Petrillo Music Shell will feature headliners from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 12, continuing on Saturday, June 13, and Sunday, June 14, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Highlights of the Fest include:

Friday, June 12,
Petrillo stage

  • Chicago blues artist Zora Young, 6 p.m.
  • At 7:05 p.m., singer-songwriter Clarence Carter, takes the stage showcasing his hits “Strokin,’” “Slip Away” and “Back Door Santa.”
  • Chicago soul man Syl Johnson will headline at 8:25 p.m. Having lived next door to blues guitarist Magic Slim in the 1950s, Johnson performed with Magic, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells, Howlin’ Wolf and Jimmy Reed before he made his solo debut in 1959.

Saturday, June 13
Petrillo stage

  • The evening kicks off with Chicago blues guitarist, Toronzo Cannon at 5:30 p.m. Cannon who grew up in the shadows of the legendary blues club, Theresa’s Lounge, was influenced by the raw soulful sounds of Junior Wells, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy.
  • The Taj Mahal Trio takes the stage at 6:30 p.m.  Known for their “global fusion” approach to the blues, Taj Mahal has garnered awards and fans throughout the world.
  • Chicago’s own Buddy Guy, who’s regarded by many as the best guitar player alive, is sure to keep the crowd on their feet when he kicks off his act  at 8:05 p.m. Some of his award-winning albums include: 1991’s Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues, 1993’s Feelin’ like Rain and 1994’s Slippin’ It.

Sunday, June 14
Petrillo stage

Sunday’s evening festival finale features a talented lineup of artists honoring Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. Dixon’s music and lyrics and Waters’ electric guitar brought the Delta blues sound to Chicago. Waters and Dixon have influenced generations of musicians including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry and countless others.

  • The evening kicks off with Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues with special guest Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater at 5 p.m.
  • The Willie Dixon centennial tribute, featuring Billy Branch, Keshia Dixon, Tomiko Dixon, Freddie Dixon, Alex Dixon, Bobby Dixon, Cash McCall, Sugar Blue, John Watkins and Andrew Blaze Thomas begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • At 8:15 p.m., Muddy Waters will be celebrated with a jam session by former band members, family and friends including: Bob Margolin, Mud Morganfield, Big Bill Morganfield, John Primer, Rick Kreher, Bob Stroger, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, E.G. McDaniel, Paul Oscher, Jerry Portnoy and Barrelhouse Chuck.

Day Stages

Day stages features local and national blues musicians celebrating the genre’s rich tradition and heritage. Stages and performance times are: Bud Light Crossroads stage, 11:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; the Jackson Rhythm and Blues stage, 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and the Pepsi Front Porch, noon – 5:30 p.m. For a complete list of daytime performers, click here.

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