Monday, July 29, 2013

Professor Fernando Jones - Music

(C) 2013 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.

Professor Fernando Jones - Music

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
By Rych McCain, and Facebook

Professor Fernando Jones’
Blues Kids Camp Is On!

Photos via FJBKC

Professor Fernando Jones Blues Artist and Teacher
The Blues as an art form has taken the rollercoaster ride of being “In” then “Out” like her sister art forms i.e., jazz, R&B and so on since its inception in the Mississippi delta in the early 1900’s. Professor Fernando Jones is not only a music educator at Columbia College in Chicago, he is also a veteran Blues recording artist who sings and plays guitar. 

     Jones’ love of blues is so strong that he created a workshop/camp for youth to not only teach them how to play the blues but also to help preserve the music and keep it going strong for future generations to come. Jones explains, “The Blues Camp started in 2010 at Columbia College in Chicago and it is part of a program called “Blues Kids of America” that I founded back in 1989 here in Chicago. So the camp came out of a 20 something year-old music program with a focus on the blues.

Blues Camp Kids Jammin
The Fernando Jones Blues Kids Camp is a program of The Blues Kids Foundation which is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. The camp’s staff is made up from highly qualified music instructors. The program provides scholarship tuition waivers for all of the student musicians (ages 12 - 18) that attend. Some scholarship waivers also include lodging and transportation arrangements. Jones’ Kids Blues Camp started in Chicago but is now offered in several cities. 

Bassist Logan Layman laying it down
    As Jones states, “Our camp is designed especially for the Blues Kid who simply wants to perform this music and experience this priceless, cultural enrichment opportunity in a nurturing environment with like-minded others.´ 

Guitarist Ray Goron is gettin' into it!

    What served as his motivation to create all of this? Jones relates, “A number of things motivated me to start the blues camp. Most of the things that I have started or created in my life have been things that I saw a need and also at some point of my life, things I tried to give away to other people. Most of the things that I have done have not been necessarily for myself but they needed to be done.”

Live blues kids session
Jones also mentions his many experiences playing around the country where parents will bring their child to his concert and the youngster showed an interest is playing the blues. He reflects, “Sometimes when you get to a town and people like you, they will bring their family to meet you and in some cases they will bring a kid who is a guitar player who will come up and ask you if they can play. Because I started playing when I was around four years-old, I could pretty much see myself in this kid. They’ll get up and play a tune with you for the night, then four or five weeks later you get a beautiful handwritten letter made out of construction paper with the kid saying how wonderful the experience was and how in so many was it helped saved their lives and helped them from being weirdos.”

Another Blues Camp Conclusion
    Jones adds that the music department at Columbia College had a well developed jazz program so he pumped up the blues emphasis. He also believes that his blues camps serves as a source of new ideas, new life blood and promotion of the blues for upcoming generations. Jones conducts his blues camps around the country then concludes every year with a week long master blues camp in Chicago at Columbia College. 

Hard to get tickests
      They then have a grand concert at a major Chicago blues venue. This year the concert was at the House of Blues and the place was packed. For support donations and more information on how your child might benefit from the Blues Kids Camp, go to

Leroya Sanford
         The Blues is not dead.

     I spent an incredible week at Columbia College in Chicago learning, playing and singing the Blues with Professor Fernando Jones and the Blues Kids Camp. 

     I don’t know  of any music that can make you feel good and dance about all the problems you have in life.  The Blues is like a healing to the soul.  I think that’s why I love the Blues so much.  It’s the same reason I love doing comedy, because crying about all the issues I deal with and problems I see in the world didn’t do me any good.   

     The Fernando Jones Blues Kids camp welcomes musicians and singers from all over the world to learn the importance and historic perspective with some of the most talented Teen Instrumentalists I have ever seen. If you play an instrument and don’t know The Blues then you’re not a true musician.  Without the Blues we wouldn’t have the music we have today.   Did I mention that Professor Fernando offers this week long Blues camp for FREE in various locations throughout the U.S.?  Give your support and keep it alive visit:    Every minute spent angry is 60 seconds of happiness wasted.

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