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Chicago Jazz, Blues and Beyond Bus Tour – June 6

Visit sites and hear stories of how jazz and blues became part of the Chicago sound

Experience the Chicago Jazz, Blues, and Beyond Bus Tour, which is normally only available to private groups. The outing explores the secret history and culture of Chicago’s legendary musical legacy. The tour travels to Uptown, Bronzeville, and the old Maxwell Street Market to visit sites where jazz and blues became part of the Chicago sound. The tour guide also puts these unique musical styles into the broader context of their times and the city. You’ll get tons of insights about cultural history and urban architecture. There’s even a blues harmonica lesson while on a bus rolling through downtown Chicago!

This active tour by bus digs deep into how the Windy City became such a hotbed for jazz and blues. It’s much more than a trivia list of places where blues musicians and jazz legends made their mark. You’ll hop off the bus for up-close looks at significant Chicago architecture and the tour guide will ask questions to get you thinking about the evolution of the blues and jazz genres.

To design this tour, 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, making the tour particularly popular with locals.

This tour is only available to the public once a year, during Chicago Blues Fest, so book your spot today!


2.5 Hours




  • Days & Times

  • Saturday, June 6th


  • Aragon Ballroom and its ornate architecture
  • Green Mill Jazz Club in Uptown
  • Michigan Avenue “cliff” and historic hotels
  • Hear the secret history of a former 1920s jazz club
  • Chess Records, a Chicago blues landmark
  • Pilgrim Baptist Church, famous for gospel
  • Former site of the Maxwell Street Market
  • Live blues performance, harmonica lesson, and harmonica gift

Stories & Ideas

  • The scandalous reputation of early jazz
  • City life in the Roaring ’20s
  • The Great Migration
  • “Chicago Blues” defined
  • How jazz and blues genres changed
  • Music as a catalyst for creating community

Tour Includes

  • Engaging tour guide commentary
  • Luxury coach transport up to 3 hours
  • Video presentation via screens on bus
  • Blues musician performance
  • Harmonica gift

Tour Location

After-Words Bookstore, 23 E. Illinois St.

Book Now


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]