Please update your browser.

Thank you for visiting our site! We noticed you are using a browser we no longer support. To have the best overall experience and avoid issues navigating the site, please click one of the supported browsers to the right to download the latest version for free:

Guitars Playing at A Blues Christmas at Navy Pier Wide

Nov. 30, 2023 | Chicago Blues legends take center stage for 20th anniversary celebration of Genuine Houserockin Christmas CD

Alligator Records and Navy Pier Join Forces for Free, One-night-only ‘A Blues Christmas’ Concert

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate. Please visit our event calendar for information on current events.

CHICAGO – Navy Pier and Alligator Records today announced a unique collaboration to celebrate the holidays Chicago Blues-style with a free, one-night-only concert – “A Blues Christmas” – on Friday, Dec. 15, in the Pier’s historic Aon Grand Ballroom. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis for the 7 p.m. concert.

Joining Chicago bluesman Toronzo Cannon and his band will be four-time Grammy nominee and winner of 12 Blues Music Awards Shemekia Copeland, who has opened for the Rolling Stones, toured with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Dr. John, and performed at the White House. Also on the docket are Billy Branch, heir apparent to the Chicago Blues harmonica throne, the electrifyingly raucous Lil’ Ed, and the multi-talented Ivy Ford. Marking the 20th anniversary of Alligator Records’ 2003 release of the acclaimed Genuine Houserockin Christmas CD, the concert will feature songs from Genuine Houserockin Christmas and The Alligator Records Christmas Collection along with other seasonal favorites reinterpreted through the lens of Chicago’s homegrown Blues.



Alligator Records, like the blues itself, continues to break new ground while staying true to its roots. Rolling Stone says, “Prestigious, scrappy independent Alligator Records has reached dizzying heights in celebrating the blues.” It began in 1971, when 23-year-old blues fan Bruce Iglauer spent his savings to record and release a record by his favorite Chicago blues band, Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers. He created Alligator Records to release that one LP. Today, Alligator boasts a catalog of over 350 titles, many of which are renowned, award-winning, time-tested classics of the genre. Career-defining albums from legendary artists including Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Professor Longhair, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison and Michael “Iron Man” Burks share the catalog with releases from current blues and roots icons Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold and Mavis Staples. Records from today’s world-renowned stars like Shemekia Copeland, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Marcia Ball, Billy Branch, Tinsley Ellis, Carolyn Wonderland, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Curtis Salgado, Roomful Of Blues and The Cash Box Kings, as well as albums from trailblazing newer voices including Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Nick Moss, Toronzo Cannon and Selwyn Birchwood, clearly showcase Alligator’s wide-ranging, forward-looking vision. In 2021, Alligator joined forces with Exceleration Music, a partnership of global music industry leaders who invest in the future of independent labels and artists. On June 18, 2021, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared “Alligator Records Day” throughout the city via official proclamation. This is the same day Alligator Records–50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin’ Music (a 2-LP or 3-CD set) was released. On September 18, 2021, the Mayor declared “Bruce Iglauer Day” across the city in honor of Alligator’s founder and president. The New York Times says, “Alligator is the leading record label for the blues, and has succeeded where the giants have failed.”


Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit



Chinese (Simplified)
Skip to content