Logan Center Bluesfest

October 19-21, 2018

The line up for the 2018 Bluesfest has been announced!

The Logan Center continues its tradition of celebrating and promoting the rich cultural landscape of Chicago's South Side with a three day festival of concerts, workshops, film, and conversation. From October 19–21, 2018, the Logan Center Bluesfest will feature local and national musicians and artists in spaces throughout the Logan Center.

Many of the events during the Logan Center Bluesfest are free. Tickets are now available for certain ticketed events!

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Bluesfest Related events


Rear View Mirror Session: Blues Edition
Saturday, October 6, 6-9pm
Logan Center Performance Penthouse
Soundrotation in conjunction with Brain Trust Management and Logan Center for the Arts presents the Rear View Mirror Sessions and Lecture Series with Duane E. Powell. Focusing on influential unsung artists and legends and how their influence has lasted for generations, Rear View Mirror Sessions provides insight into the artists journeys by exploring  their lives through history and their music.   This event is a pre-event of the Logan Center Bluesfest and will focus on Muddy Waters.

Ernest C. Withers: Documenting Memphis Music
September 28 – December 15, 2018
Opening event: October 19, 2018 from 5-7pm
Café Logan
Ernest C. Withers was photographer whose voluminous catalog of arresting black-and-white images illustrates a history of life in the segregated South in the 1950s and ’60s, from the civil rights movement to the Memphis music scene.  This exhibition will focus on the his photos from the Memphis’s bustling Beale Street blues scene including rarely seen images of B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Aretha Franklin, Ma Rainey and Memphis Slim. Join us for the opening event during the second annual Logan Center Bluesfest on October 19.  

Art & Music: The Cry of Jazz and Chicago Blues 
Sat, Oct 20, 7pm 
Logan Center, Screening Room

Chicago-based composer Edward Bland’s only film, The Cry of Jazz (1959, newly restored 35mm print) interrogates the intertwined history of jazz and the Black experience in the United States. Through a framing story of an interracial gathering of jazz fans in Hyde Park, Bland argues that Black Americans’ history of suffering gives them a distinctive vision that drives innovation in jazz (something that whites are incapable of) and, ultimately, revolution. Harley Cokeliss’s Chicago Blues (1972), narrated by Dick Gregory, also ties the history of American music to the history of American race relations, touring Chicago’s south side clubs, housing projects, and sites of the Black Power movement.

Art & Music: The Cry of Jazz and Chicago Blues is presented by South Side Projections, the Smart Museum of Art, the Film Studies Center, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts as part of the film series Chicago's Black Arts Movement on Film, the Logan Center Bluesfest, and the symposium Unfinished Business! The South Side and Chicago ArtUnfinished Business! and Chicago's Black Arts Movement in Film are presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Chicago’s Black Arts Movement in Film and Unfinished Business! are funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Logan Center Second Monday Blues: Jimmy Johnson
Hosted by Billy Branch
Monday, Nov 12, 2018 , 7pm
Café Logan
This new series, Logan Center Second Monday Blues, will feature Chicago’s home-grown, world class musicians and emerging Blues stars. Relax with a glass of wine or cup of tea while hearing from local musicians in an intimate setting.   A live interview will proceed each concert, moderated by the three time Grammy-nominated Billy Branch, curator and host of the new series. We will provide the audience with a unique, up-close and personal experience with an opportunity to delve deeper into Chicago blues music and its musicians.   Presented by the Logan Center and Billy Branch Music.


Background picture: Ruthie Foster