Wednesday Night Music!

Come on out to our FREE music event on on the banks of the Rock River at Burpee Museum of Natural History! Relax and enjoy food and drink with friends and family at out beautiful outdoor theater from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Even if it’s raining – we just move the party inside!

Sponsored by:

David Rosik & Allison Butler-Rosik


Joe & Jeanette Geraghty

George & Diane Wilhelmsen

Scot Krebs

Rockford T-shirt Company
Susan Martin
Kevin Kuhn
Toronzo Cannon 6.5.24

Jun 5, 2024

Toronzo Cannon

Chicago bluesman Toronzo Cannon defies all expectations. The blistering guitarist, soulful vocalist, singular songwriter and city bus driver fuses his muscular, rock-inspired blues guitar playing with his original, keenly detailed slice-of-life songs, blazing his own blues trail. With the 2016 release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way, Cannon burst onto the international stage as one the most electrifying bluesmen to emerge from Chicago in decades. His live performances unfailingly earn him heaps of critical praise and hordes of wildly enthusiastic fans. Cannon has played major cities all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He recently performed for the first time in Japan, delighting and surprising audiences with one unforgettable gig after another. Now, with the release of The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp, Cannon builds upon the foundation he’s laid, creating and defining his vision of contemporary blues.

Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Senses! Other Ways to Experience Sound

Damon Fowler 6.12.24

Jun 12, 2024

Damon Fowler

Florida’s Gulf Coast has produced a plethora of distinctive musicians, from the blues of Tampa Red to jazz greats Cannonball and Nat Adderley to former Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts to The Outlaws. Tampa’s Damon Fowler, a masterful singer, guitar player and songwriter, has absorbed the best of and furthered the work of the region’s definitive artists. A hard driving troubadour, his music is steeped with soul and representative of the many styles that make up the roots of American music. Fowler can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, and his lyrical work on lap steel and dobro makes him a stand out performer among the legions of guitar heroes. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with music journalists extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise.


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Touch! Paint What You Hear

Sheryl Youngblood 6.19.24

Jun 19, 2024

Sheryl Youngblood

Growing up in a musically inclined family with her mother having her own female group “The Royal Harmonetts” and being a pianist and vocalist in the church, Sheryl was born into music. 2015 Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee. Sheryl began singing and playing various instruments in the church, in her teen years Sheryl began her own female group in her church (Mt. Zion Baptist Church) called “Sisters” in which she wrote several of their songs and also wrote songs for the National Baptist State Convention. Sheryl started her own Blues band Sheryl Youngblood Blues Band in 2013 A Powerful Vocalist; Drummer; Songwriter; Bandleader; Entertainer. works regularly and travels extensively. Sheryl’s mission is to touch everyone possible musically even if only for an hour or two on stage making someone feel better then they did when they arrived to the event!


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Waves! What is a Wave?

Mike Wheeler 6.26.24

Jun 26, 2024

Mike Wheeler

Mike Wheeler has a vast knowledge of music and a voice that’s reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke. He can sing and play everything so well that you may forget what the original record even sounds like. From Jazz to Rock, from popular music to Top 40, he slides in and out of musical genres with sophistication, ease and indulgence. Mike Wheeler is a brilliant staple in the Chicago blues community, playing and writing songs for a variety of Chicago artists including, Nellie Tiger Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell, Demetria Taylor, Big Ray & Cadillac Dave. Mike was a well known member of Big James &The Chicago Playboys, a notable band in Chicago and recorded five albums with the group. He has travelled the world as an ambassador for Chicago blues music. Mike was inducted in the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Movement and Sound! DIY Instrument

Ivy Ford 7.3.24

Jul 3, 2024

Ivy Ford

Known as The Blues Kitten, serving an experience of music to soothe your soul & fill your heart. As a multi-instrumentalist including electric guitar, Ivy Ford holds her own and entertains her audience and listeners. Ivy Ford versatile, talented, an old soul. From singing the blues to being sultry, she is an indigo artist who’s gift connects those who are around her and those who listen. Whether leading a full band or serenading a small audience solo on stage, Ivy Ford commands an energy that is most magical. “Miss Ivy is a heel struttin’, red lipstick wearin’ and refreshing entertainer, while staying true to the roots of music”

Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Nature Sounds!  The Music and Sounds of Nature

Jimmy Nick & Don't Tell Mama & Joe Filisko Harp Workshop 7.10.24

Jul 10, 2024

Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama & Joe Filisko Harp Workshop

Jimmy Nick is an old-fashioned, guitar-slinging blues prodigy who spent his teenage years being schooled by legendary bluesmen in the famous Chicago clubs of Kingston Mines, Rosa’s Lounge, and B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted.

Over the last year, Jimmy has recorded his first live album for a full house at The Raue Center for the Performing Arts, performed over 200 shows*, advanced to the semifinals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, as well as headlined at Buddy Guy’s Legends, and B.L.U.E.S on Halstead. Most recently, he was featured on the WGN Morning News.

In addition, Jimmy has opened for the legendary Eddie Shaw, Bobby Rush, Toronzo Canon, Dick Dale, and The Mike Wheeler Band and performed at SXSW. Jimmy has sold over 1,500 copies of his 3rd studio album –Rare Breed, which features Eddie Shaw performing with Jimmy on his original blues tune “Greedy Man”.

Jimmy Nick has also shared the stage with John Mayall, Ted Nugent, Samantha Fish, Pat Travers, Savoy Brown, Los Lonely Boys, Gov’t Mule, Kenny Wayne Shepard and more. Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama continue to be one of the most requested and hard-working bands in the Chicagoland area.

Today Jimmy’s mission is to expose the next generation to the blues. Driven by his motown-tight band, Don’t Tell Mama, featuring saxophone, bass, and drums Jimmy excites crowds with his electrifying guitar work, fresh harp, clever lyrics, and animated stage theatrics. His high-energy blues and rock-n-roll captivate audiences and forge instant fans.


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Animal Sounds!  Joe Filisko Harp Workshop

Nick Moss 7.17.24

Jul 17, 2024

Nick Moss

With Get Your Back Into It!, Chicago native, guitarist and vocalist Nick Moss and New Jersey native, harmonica player and vocalist Dennis Gruenling – together with Rodrigo Mantovani on bass, Taylor Streiff on keyboards and Pierce Downer on drums – deliver a deeply rooted, timeless blue collar blues album. According to Moss, “We are a rare breed as far as how authentic we like to keep the music.” That’s not a surprise to longtime fans, as Moss proudly represents the city of Chicago as one of the few bluesmen working today to have learned his craft firsthand directly from many of the genre’s original creators. Nick Moss Band has a legion of fans that flock to his shows, knowing that each night will be a grand musical experiment. There will be sonic textures to discover and new sounds to stir the soul.


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Senses! Other Ways to Experience Sound

Cash Box Kings 7.24.24

Jul 24, 2024

Cash Box Kings

The Cash Box Kings, according to Living Blues magazine, “are one of the best blues bands in the land.” The group, co-led by real-deal Chicago blues vocalist and songwriter Oscar “Mr. 43rd Street” Wilson, and Madison, Wisconsin-based songwriter, harmonica giant and singer Joe Nosek, plays masterfully raw, unvarnished, old-school ensemble blues. No matter where The Cash Box Kings perform, they bring the music to fuel the party. The Cash Box Kings don’t merely pay homage to the past, they bring tradition into the present [and deliver] a rollicking good time. Between Wilson’s natural blues vocal power and Nosek’s talent at wringing every last drop of emotion from his harmonica, The Cash Box Kings never fail to wow their longtime fans while earning new ones at every gig.


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Touch!  Paint What You Hear

Stephen Hull & Wheatbread Johnson BITS Program 7.31.24

Jul 31, 2024

Stephen Hull & The Wheatbread Johnson BITS Program

Stephen Hull is a 25-year-old International Blues Musician, IBC 2nd Place Winner & Best Guitarist Award Winner 2024.

The Stephen Hull Experience gives the blues community exciting evidence that the future of music is in good hands. Born in 1999, a native of Racine, Wisconsin, Stephen Hull started playing blues at age 14 and never stopped, taking cues from Albert King and B.B. King as he developed his sweet, soulful guitar sound. Balancing that with his absolutely stellar lead vocals and infectiously buoyant personality, Stephen has been rising fast in the blues clubs of Chicago and venues across southeastern Wisconsin. Appearing in blues magazines such as Living Blues (U.S.) and Blues & Rhythm: The Gospel Truth (UK), Stephen has been interviewed by a myriad of media including Lake Effect (broadcast on Milwaukee’s NPR). From the Chicago Blues Fest to the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, The Stephen Hull Experience is making headlines.

Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Movement and Sound!  Blues in the Schools Program

Chris O'Leary 8.7.24

Aug 7, 2024

Chris O’Leary

Chris’s musical background includes duties as lead singer and front man for rock and roll hall of famer and Grammy award winner Levon Helm’s band, The Barnburners. During the 6 years that Chris and Levon played together they toured across the US and Canada lighting up stages everywhere they went. Chris has appeared on stage with: Legendary Rolling Stones sideman Bobby Keys, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Vivino, Jeff Healy, Dan Akroyd, Albert Lee, Dave Edmunds, Dave Maxwell and the great James Cotton to name just a few. Chris has also recorded with Bill Perry and Hubert Sumlin, among others. The Chris O’Leary Band’s debut CD “Mr. Used to Be” won the 2011 Best New Artist Debut CD Blues Blast Award and was nominated for best new artist debut at the 2011 American Blues Music Awards.


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Waves!  What is a Wave?

Aug 14, 2024

The Dig 3

THE DIG 3 is a new, exciting, & entertaining blues/roots all-star trio consisting of the supremely soulful vocalist /guitarist Andrew Duncanson of Kilborn Alley Blues Band fame, harp master & teacher Ronnie Shellist, and multi-instrumentalist Gerry Hundt (who has been the not-so-secret weapon behind Nick Moss, Corey Dennison, and much more!)  The Dig 3 truly play DEEP BLUES WITH A FEELING and know how to really DIG INTO A STEADY GROOVE! It’s so refreshing to hear a group of young talented good friends playing killer old school blues with unique originality, taste, subtlety, and emotion, and all while having an absolute blast doing it.  This is some of the most lowdown, raw, wild, and dirty blues I’ve heard in a long time…think Big John Wrencher‘s Chicago Blues classic, Maxwell Street Blues from ’69!


Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and Class: Animal Sounds!  DIY Instruments

Reverend Raven and the CSABs with Westside Andy Linderman 8.21.24

Aug 21, 2024

Reverend Raven and the CSABs with Westside Andy Linderman

Born and raised in the Englewood neighborhood on south side of Chicago. The Reverend has been playing the blues since 1971 when he first saw Freddy King play at the Kinetic Theatre in Chicago. After 15 year hitch in the Navy, Chief Raven moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers. The Reverend was the Wisconsin Music Industry (WAMI) award for best blues band in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010 and again in 2015. The band has been voted the Best Blues Band In Milwaukee by The Shepherd Express Reader’s Poll in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Westside Andy Linderman has been the bands featured harmonica player since 2015. He’s played over 10,000 gigs over some 45 years.

Wonderful Wednesdays Theme and class Nature Sounds
Music in the Sounds of Nature