This event has passed. Please consider our public tour on Sat, Jun 8, 2019.
Or if you have a group of 16 or more, we offer this as a private group bus tour.
And we have a version we do for high school student groups!
Join fellow University of Chicago alumni on the Chicago Jazz, Blues, and Beyond Bus Tour. This is a rare opportunity, since this tour is normally only offered to private groups. The special event explores the history and culture of Chicago’s legendary music scene. It combines a Chicago blues tour with a Chicago jazz history tour, then throws in some perceptive ideas in cultural history and architecture. You’ll network with fellow alums over a delicious family-style soul food luncheon. To cap it all off, you’ll get a blues harmonica lesson on a bus rolling through downtown Chicago!
On this special tour, you will see architectural landmarks of Chicago blues and jazz history. You’ll visit neighborhoods north to south, while our guide shares forgotten stories. The luxury coach you’ll ride in has video screens with historic photos and film clips of interviews, songs, and performances.
Rather than go over a trivia list of places where musicians made their mark, you’ll dig 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 and Amanda will ask questions to get you thinking about the evolution of these genres.
To design this tour, UChicago alumna and our 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 locals. We are proud to be a top-rated Chicago tour company, with five-star ratings on Yelp and TripAdvisor.
We hope you’ll join us. You’ll get to meet the ever interesting community of UChicago alumni! Book your tour now as our events with the University of Chicago Alumni Club have all sold out.This is limited to 38 guests.
- Aragon Ballroom and its ornate architecture
- Green Mill Jazz Club in Uptown
- Michigan Avenue “cliff” and historic hotels
- Exterior 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
- What makes Chicago Blues distinct
- How jazz and blues genres changed
- Music as a catalyst for creating community
- Engaging tour guide commentary
- Family-style luncheon includes fried chicken, BBQ rib tips, cornbread dressing, collard greens, mac and cheese with dessert and beverage.
- Video presentation via screens on bus
- Blues musician performance
- Free harmonica
- Discounted flat-rate parking at Grant Park/Millennium Park North Garage ($15)
Tour Meeting Spot
- Tour starts and concludes inside Afterwords Books, 23 E. Illinois Street.