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Ramova Theater - SOLD OUT

3520 S. Halsted Street


Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland’s warmth riveted blues fans when she first started performing, but her recent social messages may become her lasting legacy. The daughter of legendary guitarist Johnny Copeland, she released her debut, Turn the Heat Up (Alligator) in 1998. Since then, Shemekia Copeland has relentless toured worldwide, won 15 Blues Music Awards from The Blues Foundation and received five Grammy Award nominations. Her two most recent Alligator albums, Done Come Too Far (2022) and Uncivil War (2020) provide her pointed commentary on contemporary American life. On the single “Too Far To Be Gone,” Copeland delivers a fierce statement about Black progress since the 1960s Civil Rights movement as she declares that the fight is ongoing. Producer Will Kimbrough (who co-wrote the track with Copeland’s manager John Hahn) lends electric guitar lines that match her stinging tone. Throughout the Done Come Too Far album she also delivers heartfelt messages about of slavery, gun violence and child abuse. But she also sounds quietly persuasive on a country inflected tale of infidelity, “Why Why Why.”

—Aaron Cohen

Ronnie Baker Brooks

Ronnie Baker Brooks carries one of Chicago blues’ most esteemed legacies. His father, the late Lonnie Brooks, was among the music’s most highly esteemed figures; today Ronnie, along with his brother Wayne, maintain the Brooks heritage with music that’s rooted in the tradition their father helped codify yet updated with contemporary influences that help ensure its ongoing evolution and relevance. Born in Chicago in 1967, the boy christened Rodney Dion Baker picked up the guitar at a young age; he joined his father’s band after graduating high school and released  Golddigger, his first album as a leader, in 1998. Since then he’s garnered an international reputation as a versatile stylist who harnesses the soul-baring honesty of the blues, the in-your-face power of rock, and the street-tough aggressiveness of contemporary R&B, stirring  them together to create a piping hot musical jambalaya that honors his father’s Louisiana roots even as it re-imagines and reshapes them for modern sensibilities. Brooks’ recent signing with the Chicago-based Alligator label promises to expand his territory and his fandom even further, and this set will be a perfect kick-off for the 2024 Chicago Blues Festival – a celebration of the music as a living, contemporary art that honors its heritage by keeping it vital and forward-looking. — David Whiteis


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