Music lovers crowd Chicago’s blues and jazz clubs where legendary figures as Von Freeman, Franz Jackson and Eddy Clearwater have played.
The city’s annual Chicago Blues Fest and Chicago Jazz Fest are popular free events that take place during the summer. Past performers of the Blues Fest include Ray Charles, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and Koko Taylor while the Jazz Fest shows off Chicago's vast jazz talent alongside national and international artists to encourage and educate a jazz audience of all ages.
Luckily one doesn’t need to wait for the free festivals to enjoy live music in Chicago. Many clubs offer nightly performances 365 days a year.
Green Mill is perfect for those who appreciate live jazz in a speakeasy atmosphere while Rosa's Lounge lets you enjoy live blues without the unnecessary pretentiousness of a club-like atmosphere.
Kingston Mines offers free or discounted cover to students, members of the military and seniors. Tourists staying at downtown hotels can walk to Blue Chicago, Winter's Jazz Club or Andy's Jazz Club. Blues afficionados will want to explore Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation, the historic site of Chess Records while they're in town.
Chicago’s jazz and blues clubs are cozy, dimly lit and have genuine character. Don’t be surprised if you’re seated alongside one of Chicago’s greats who is enjoying the music on his or her day off or just after finishing their own set.