American blues/rock singer
Chicago has a storied history with blues that goes back generations stemming from the Great Migration from the South and particularly the Mississippi Delta region in pursuit of advancement and better career possibilities for musicians. Created by Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg, the festival began in 1984, a year after the death of McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, who is generally considered "the father of Chicago blues". Each year the organizers choose a theme, generally to honor a recently departed blues musician. Obviously, Chicago blues acts are common. Also, in keeping with the blues' influence on other musical genres, there are some soul, jazz blues and blues-rock acts. Since those early beginnings the festival has risen to a status that the City of Chicago bills as the world's largest free concert of its kind. The Blues Festival is the largest of the city's music festivals.