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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Delmark Records Hosts Inaugural Blues & Jazz Stroll Saturday In North Center

The free event will feature two stages at Delmark Records and Burning Bush Brewery.

Left: Jimmy Johnson. Right: Dave Specter.
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NORTH CENTER — Neighbors will be able to stroll down Rockwell Avenue near Delmark Records this Saturday and enjoy blues and jazz performances. 

The free event kicks off about noon and feature two stages: one on the patio of Delmark Records, 4121 N. Rockwell St., and one at Burning Bush Brewery, 4014 N. Rockwell St. 

“We’re excited to be part of this. We’re still so new to the block and haven’t been part of something like this before,” said Burning Bush owner Brent Raska.

The lineup:

Noon: Large group photo of blues and jazz musicians by Robert Jr. Whitall
1 p.m.: Donna Herula & Harlan Terson
2 p.m.: Mike Wheeler Band
3 p.m.: Liz Mandeville
4 p.m.: Soul Message Band & Geof Bradfield
5 p.m.: Michael Frank & Paul Kaye
6 p.m.: Dave Weld & the Imperial Flames
7 p.m:— Delmark All Stars Band: Bob Stroger, Willie Hayes, Billy Flynn, Roosevelt Purifoy with special guests Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Burns, Linsey Alexander, Willie Buck and Sharon Lewis

“The Delmark All Stars are the headliners and last band of the night, and they are some of the best, most historic blues musicians in Chicago,” said Julia A. Miller, Delmark’s CEO and president. “And we have so many guest artists; it’s really the cream of the crop.”

Miller, from the band Volcano Rada, bought Delmark Records, its subsidiaries, a catalog of masters dating to the 1920s, inventory of CDs and LPs and Riverside Studio from its founder, Bob Koester, in 2018.

Miller’s goal with the street festival is to have the block feel like the city’s old Maxwell Street, where electric blues was invented.

Funding for the event was provided by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Miller said.

Additional funding comes from the Walder Foundation, and other organizers include Earwig Records, the Rockwell Business & Residents Association, Ald. Matt Martin (47th) and the North Center Chamber of Commerce. 

Typically, neighborhood music events have more time for planning, but Miller and the other organizers already had an idea for a music stroll planned out and were just waiting for funding. 

“The turnaround on this has been super tight,” Miller said. 

Due to the restricted timeline, closing Rockwell Avenue for the festival wasn’t feasible, but Miller hopes to grow the event next year. 

Delmark will also stream concerts from its studio throughout the weekend. CHIRP Radio will present interviews from its studio.

For more information about the event, click here.

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