Blues and the Spirit IV

Friday, May 30, 2014 (All day) to Saturday, May 31, 2014 (All day)
Dominican University Main Campus - 7900 Division Street - River Forest IL

Dominican University (located in the near western suburbs of Chicago) is once again partnering with Living Blues Magazine to host the Blues and the Spirit symposium on May 30-31, 2014. This unique gathering continues the dialogue initiated at the last symposium in 2012 to focus on a broad conception of the African American Blues legacy.  The theme of "Blues Impurities" embraces the music's cultural heritage as well as contemporary expressions of the Blues aesthetic that transcend narrow boundaries and definitions.

Plenaries and panels will feature an eclectic group of scholars, prominent musicologists, writers, musicians, and industry leaders and the conference is open to all interested members of the public. Participants will also be treated to two evenings of live entertainment by some of the best musicians in Chicago.

  • Keynote address by Tricia Rose, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America and Professor of Africana Studies, Brown University
  • Multimedia closing plenary by Lance Williams, Founder and Director of Blacks on Blues
  • Living Blues-sponsored forum on Blues research and writing
  • Panels and presentations by scholars, writers, musicians and industry leaders
  • Blues and the Spirit Awards presented to Bob Koester, owner of Delmark Records and the Jazz Record Mart, and the Scott Family, whose legacy spans over five decades in Blues, Soul and R&B
  • Reception and live performance by Walter Scott and the World Band following the opening plenary and Spirit Award presentations on Friday
  • Reaching for the Light, a retrospective exhibit of Susan’s Greenberg’s Blues Photography followed by an art gallery reception on Saturday
  • Saturday evening after-party at Rosa's Lounge, Blues Across the Generations, featuring Jamiah on Fire and the Red Machine, Cicero Blake, Theo Huff, Claudette Miller, HoneyDew, Sharon Lewis, and others TBA
  • Optional Chicago Blues Legacy Bus Tour on Friday afternoon, conducted by Barry Dolins, retired Director of the Chicago Blues Festival and adjunct lecturer at Dominican University
  • Workshop for Musicians Saturday afternoon on Artist Empowerment in the New Music Millennium, co-sponsored by the Koko Taylor Celebrity Aid Foundation
  • SPECIAL OFFER: Register early and receive a one-year free subscription (a $29.95 value) to Living Blues Magazine!

Event Details

Check-in and Campus Information

Symposium Program

Keynote Speakers and Panelists

Blues and the Spirit Award Recipients

Susan Greenberg Photography Exhibit

Free Workshop for Musicians (May 31)


ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. The $75 registration fee includes ALL events on campus May 30 and 31 (panels, presentations, and receptions, Friday evening performance by the World Band, and round-trip bus transportation and club cover charge to the Saturday Blues Across the Generations show). 

The Chicago Blues Legacy Bus Tour is optional and space is limited. The tour can be reserved in advance for an additional cost of $35 when you register online for the symposium.

The Workshop on Artist Empowerment is offered free of charge for area musicians but requires a separate advance reservation.  Please contact us directly at (708) 524-6050 or email for more information or to reserve your place.

Reasonably priced and no-frills on-campus lodging options are available in limited numbers (singles at $50; doubles at $90 and suites for up to four people for $160 per night).

Plenary session sponsor:USBank Logo
General Admission: 
$75 (+$35 for optional bus tour)
(708) 524-6050 -