On this special tour, timed to coincide with the 2019 Chicago Blues Festival, you will see architectural landmarks of Chicago blues and jazz history in neighborhoods north to south. A highly trained, passionate tour guide shares forgotten stories of Chicago blues and jazz. The luxury coach you’ll ride in has video screens with historic photos and film clips of interviews, songs and performances to augment the storytelling experience.
Rather than fly by a trivia list of places where blues musicians and jazz legends made their mark, this active tour by bus digs deep into how the Windy City became such a hotbed for jazz and blues. You’ll hop off the bus for up-close looks at significant Chicago architecture. You even step into a building to see relics from its former life as a jazz club, where greats like Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong graced the intact stage. The tour guide will ask questions to get you thinking about the evolution of the blues and jazz genres.
To design this tour years ago, Executive Director Amanda Scotese culled stories and information from Chicago music experts, leaders in the jazz and blues scenes, oral histories, and archival books and magazines. You cannot find this angle on Chicago music anywhere else, and for this reason this tour is particularly popular with local Chicagoans. It is a great example of our motto – that our tours bring people to explore stories and places locals don’t know.
While we regularly offer this as a private group tour, June 8 is your only chance to grab a friend and join us. It sells out every year!