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Blues Fest Kicks Off At Millennium Park, Moves To Grant Park

Fernando Jones’ Blues Kids of America perform at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on the opening night of the 2013 Chicago Blues Festival. (Credit: CBS)

Fernando Jones’ Blues Kids of America perform at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on the opening night of the 2013 Chicago Blues Festival. (Credit: CBS)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Blues fans filled the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Thursday for the first night of the 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts took in the first night of music.

Brian LaPorte, of Dyer, Ind., had a choice to make – watching the Blackhawks in the playoffs, or going to Blues Fest – and chose Blues Fest.

“I like music, and I like coming to Millennium Park, so I’m missing part of the Blackhawks game tonight, but this is the place to be,” he said.

Shemekia Copeland brought the crowd to its feet as she belted out the blues, and 14-year-old blues prodigy Quinn Sullivan did not disappoint as he riffed on his guitar.

Buddy Guy discovered Quinn when he was 8 years old, and he has played since then with Buddy, and many other guitar gods, including Eric Clapton.

Quinn is from New Bedford, Mass., but has visited Buddy in Chicago so often that he calls the Windy City his second home

Blues Fest runs through Sunday on five stages at Grant Park.

Friday’s festivities feature 35 performances, including “Soul Queen of New Orleans” Irma Thomas, Earnest “Guitar” Roy, and singer Bobby Rush.

Saturday’s headliners include Otis Clay, Eddie Floyd and Sir Mack Rice.

Sunday’s headliners include James Cotton, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, and Billy Branch.

For the full lineup and schedule of performers, click here.