Chicago’s own Fernando Jones musician, writer, educator, and natty “Beau” Brummell of the Blues—is an all-around, non-stop showman who performs all-original compositions. He has made several Chicago Blues Fest appearances in the recent past.
Jones, whose parents were from Mississippi, was born in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Inspired by his three older brothers’ interest in music, he taught himself to play guitar and has never looked back. Among the myriad blues-related projects he is juggling at any one time, he is the Blues Ensemble director at Columbia College Chicago, and founder of Blues Kids of America, Blues Kids Foundation and Blues Camp. Blues Kids of America, started in 1990 in Chicago, uses oral history and music instruction to teach students literacy through music, with a focus on blues.
In addition, Jones is the author of the book I Was There When the Blues Was Red Hot, which was also adapted into a play of the same name and enjoyed a short run at the historic Gerri’s Palm Tavern on 47th Street (before the City of Chicago acquired Gerri’s for a “Blues District” redevelopment program in 2001).
In 2008 Jones won a Keeping the Blues Alive award in education from the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee.