Blues Artists Play Preview Show For Annual Festival In Grant Park

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s 31st annual Blues Festival is this coming weekend. WBBM’s Steve Miller took a look at a sampling.

Smiley Tillmon sang the blues in Daley Plaza – a preview of what’s to come this weekend in Grant Park.

Tillmon is from Florida – but he’s lived in Chicago for 50 years.

Blues Artists Play Preview Show For Annual Festival In Grant Park

photo 88 Blues Artists Play Preview Show For Annual Festival In Grant Park
WBBM 780/105.9FM

“I play a lot. And at my age, I could either go to Wal-Mart and pass out fliers – or play. I chose to play. It’s good.”

WBBM: How old are you?

“I’m going to be 75.”

Tillmon claims he graduated from high school with Fred Flintstone.

“My diploma came on that rock – the slate. But hey, I’m still here.”

Felicia Fields, a Chicago native and Tony nominee for "The Color Purple." (Credit: Steve Miller)

Felicia Fields, a Chicago native and Tony nominee for “The Color Purple.” (Credit: Steve Miller)

Felicia Fields, a Chicago native and a Tony nominee for “The Color Purple” also sang in the preview show.

She says she loved doing it because she didn’t have to be a character, just herself, whenever she sings the blues.

“It can be happy, it can be sad. Usually it is good for women who have had hard times and good times with men, so it gives you a chance to express yourself,” said Fields.

Blues Festival is on five stages in Grant Park. And it’s free.

For the complete lineup and schedule for Blues Fest, click here.

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