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Chicago School of Blues: News

Tony Moore interview on blues education - January 8, 2017

Tony Moore, a British music fan now living in Indianapolis, has taken an interest in today's generations of Chicago blues.  Many of the emerging leaders are the sons, daughters and grandchildren of blues heavyweights, who have never been promoted in the industry. Tomiko Dixon, granddaughter of Willie Dixon, has talked to Tony and others about these issues. In this interview, Tony talks with Chicago School of Blues founder Bonni McKeown and performer Larry Taylor.  Famous rock players are called upon to donate to education in the community that gave birth to the blues.  

Blues for neighborhood planning - April 18, 2016

Chicago's West Side is being invaded by gentrifiers.   Will the community be able to preserve its African American culture--which includes a heavy legacy of blues?  Bonni McKeown and Larry Taylor join a crowd of 300 at the 2016 North Lawndale planning conference, and Larry's band performs at the first annual North Lawndale Arts & Culture Festival. 

Thrill is NOT GONE! - May 17, 2015

The legendary B.B. King is in Blues Heaven.  The blues goes on, but it takes conscious effort to pass it on to new generations.  

Musical mentors - January 7, 2015

Blues is a community music.  Everybody learns from somebody. Bluesman Larry Taylor remembers John Watkins, a great music teacher who helped many great budding musicians on the West and South Side in the 1960s.   The Tutor-Mentor Conference hosted Bonni for a blues workshop.

CSB at Skinner West day in park - June 20, 2014

Music teacher Lisa Maatouk welcomed the Chicago School of Blues band to play in the park June 13, 2014. From left: Jon McDonald guitar, Curtis LaBon drums, Larry Taylor vocals, JR Bootsie Lee bass, Barrelhouse Bonni keys.


Blues tunes for Little Bros, Sisters - April 22, 2014

Chicago School of Blues musicians coached Big Brothers/Big Sisters  who each mentor an elementary school  student.  Big or little, we all learn about ourselves by writing our feelings in a three-line blues verse.  Featuring, from left: Larry Taylor vocals; Curtis LaBon drums; Barrelhouse Bonni teacher and keyboard; J.R. Bootsie Lee bass; Jon McDonald guitar.


Hot time at the BAC! - March 23, 2014

Beverly Art Center celebrated local artists on March 23, 2014 in its "Get Art!" series.  Barrelhouse Bonni McKeown led a workshop in the auditorium, "Sing Your Own Blues Tune.  It drew folks of all ages and backgrounds, including two experienced community educators: Priscy of Priscy's Productions, a West Side youth program; and Shirley King, Daughter of the Blues, who's done blues education for Urban Gateways and other programs.  Shirley, right, got the people on their feet SINGING!


CSB returns to Spencer - November 2, 2012

Miss Taj and Barrelhouse Bonni coached honor students from Spencer to sing "Let the Good Times Roll" as Chicago School of Blues returned to Spencer Tech on the West Side Nov. 2, 2012. The kids were backed by the Larry Taylor Blues n Soul band featuring Larry Taylor, vocals, Jerry-O on guitar, Dave Anderson bass, DeShun Burns drums, Jerry Hall keys, and special guest Abb Locke on saxophone.



CSB at Westcott Elementary - October 29, 2012

Barrelhouse Bonni, West Side Wes and Abb Locke help Westcott Elementary students on Chicago's South Side learn to write their own blues tunes as part of the Passport to Music program.

CSB teaming with Chicago Teens 2012 - May 15, 2012


HydePark Career Academy Students worked really hard and allowed their true light to shine in our afternoon CSB workshop at their school.  The though provoking results were progressive and inspiring.  Thank you Professor Wyatt for the opportunity to work with these beautiful minds.

CSB Professional Band Featured at CPS Black History Essay Banquet March 2012 - March 22, 2012

All was joy and dancing in the aisles as the CSB All Star Band rocked the building of Walter Peyton Prep High School on Chicago's Gold Coast.  Looking forward to sharing blues love in next year's performance.


CSB in Big City Blues! Feb 2012 - February 27, 2012

big_city_CSBHiRes212cover_resized.jpg  Chicago School of Blues featured "on the road" in Big City, February 2012!



CSB in Utne Reader - February 7, 2012

News of CSB's pioneering approach spread nationwide in the "green" digest Utne Reader, January 2012, and the PBS blog American Routes:

Take a Creative Break - January 27, 2012

Chicago School of Blues joins a list of distinguished arts organizations and programs on  Collaboration abounds!  Special thanks to Doris "Pandorie" Rolland.

Teachers, Citizens Say kids Need Arts, Movement - September 13, 2011,0,4151935.story

Teachers union poll says citizens favor a longer school day, with longer pay for teachers; AND more time for arts, physical activity and science labs--the things that make school fun and bearable!  People are aware that Test, test, test doesn't always help kids learn.

Mindful Metropolis magazine hails Chicago School of Blues - August 8, 2011   Mindful_Metropolis_bluesCoverSMALL_resized.jpg  Article reprinted in Jan. 2012 Utne Reader

Spencer assembly has Austin neighborhood talking - May 4, 2011

MLK Assemblies at Kipling School - January 21, 2011

Miss Taj and Barrelhouse Bonni led two school assemblies, totalling 400 students, on Jan. 14, 2011 for Martin Luther King Day, K-3 and 4th through 8th grade, at Rudyard Kipling Elementary School on the South Side of Chicago, with Gloria Shannon (right) as guest singer. We  talked about feelings--what do you do when you're happy, sad, mad. One teacher confessed that she assigns more homework when she's mad!  Gloria sang "C.C. Rider," a favorite by the mother of the blues, Ma Rainey, and the students sang along on the civil rights song "We Shall Not Be Moved" and the blues favorites "Sweet Home Chicago" and "Let the Good Times Roll. CSB thanks music teacher Christine Wyatt for bringing us to celebrTajBonniGloriaKiplingl_MLK11411.jpgate with you!


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