Event—Public Programming

Make Music Chicago 2022 in Bughouse Square

Join us for a celebration of Chicago Blues with performances by Mississippi Heat and John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band.


Please note: This is an outdoor, in-person event taking place in Washington Square Park, across from the Newberry. Free and open to all; no registration required.

Join us for a celebration of Chicago Blues with performances by Mississippi Heat and John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band. Hear sounds from the Mississippi Delta that made their way to the Windy City as part of the Great Migration. Inspired by the Newberry's spring exhibition Crossings: Mapping American Journeys, this outdoor concert presents Chicago Blues songs with southern roots.

Explore our other events taking place in Bughouse Square this summer, including 50-Minute Hamlet, Chicago Storytelling, and Bughouse Square: A History in Song and Story.

About the Performers

Led by harmonica master and songwriter Pierre Lacocque, Mississippi Heat is a world-class Chicago Blues Band. Their name reflects Pierre’s reverence for Mississippi’s blues culture and music. The band’s conviction is that there is no deeper music than Delta-inspired blues to express what lies in everyone’s soul. They have received world-wide critical acclaim, including from Living Blues Magazine: “Mississippi Heat delivers its traditional urban blues with a freshness, energy and competence that makes them a treasure on today’s Chicago scene.”

As the bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Magic Slim & The Teardrops, John Primer's virtuosity as a blues musician was forged by legends. John started playing on Maxwell Street, the birthplace of Chicago blues and soon became the house bandleader at the infamous Theresa's Lounge for seven years alongside Sammy Lawhorn, Junior Wells, James Cotton and others. Having played or recorded with a who's who of blues greats including Gary Clark Jr., Derek Trucks, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy to name a few, John Primer's personal accolades, including Lifetime Achievement Awards, reflect his countless contributions to the history of the blues.

This event is part of programming for our current exhibition Crossings: Mapping American Journeys, which will run at the Newberry through June 25, 2022.

Our summer programs in the park are cosponsored with the Free for All Fund of the Chicago Community Trust and the Washington Square Park Advisory Council.

About Make Music

Make Music Chicago is a day-long, citywide, DIY music festival that celebrates the musician in us all. Every June 21, Make Music Chicago helps Chicagoans celebrate their ability to make music, regardless of age, ability or preferred musical style. Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Chicago is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — pours onto streets, parks, plazas, and porches to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public.

Chicago joins 750 cities in 120 countries across the globe, making the Fête de la Musique the world’s largest single day music celebration. Make Music Chicago is a proud member of the Make Music Alliance, connecting Chicago with nearly 50 other U.S. cities in celebrating this day of music, and is presented by the International Music Foundation. Don’t miss out on the fun!

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