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Chicago Slim talks about the Chicago Blues Society

Blues musician and doctor Chicago Slim chatted about the Chicago Blues Society.

Blues musician and doctor Chicago Slim
Blues musician and doctor Chicago Slim. Photo Courtesy of Chipster PR
Blues musician and doctor Chicago Slim. Photo Courtesy of Chipster PR

Blues musician and doctor Chicago Slim chatted about the Chicago Blues Society.

Born Daniel Ivankovich, Chicago Slim is also an orthopedic trauma and spine surgeon.

How did the Chicago Blues Society come about?

Chicago Blues Society was a culmination of musicians and fans coming together to support Chicago Blues music and artists. For the most part, the city and clubs do very little to help sustain the genre and artists.

A big way that we decided to help was by assisting Blues musicians in getting their healthcare needs to be met (How about Keeping Blues Musicians alive . . What a concept). Over time, we also developed an interest in impacting Chicago youth with options to be exposed to music.

Many are being put in harm’s way on a daily basis with all of the gun violence in the city’s communities and don’t have many options other than basketball. In addition, funding for music and arts has been cut drastically in Chicago Public schools. Our desire was to provide mentorship and cultural enrichment for the at-risk youth.

You’ve been helping musicians and youth in need of health assistance, why is this cause so important to you?

Whether they knew it or not, these musicians helped me get through a very rough period in my life. They saved me with their music and mentorship (and never charged me). In trying to pay things forward, I understood that they lacked access to basic healthcare resources, so I tried to become a guide to help connect them with better health.

What inspires your music and songwriting?

I’m very inspired by the blues genre in general. And through my years in radio, I’ve been exposed to all genres and formats. I’m very interested in electronic music, recording technology, and production.

If I can feel a good beat in any manner, that becomes a stimulus. Remixing and production are a big interest for me as part of the creative process. Don’t get me started about my guitar collection.

What do your plans for the future include?

Future plans are to keep expanding our footprint and championing Chicago Blues music to the world. That doesn’t mean simply living in the past, but it actually means helping to nurture and develop the next generation of Blues stars who will carry the torch. Current plans are for a venue that will act as a community health resource and production facility during the day and at night becomes a 7-night/week club specializing in Chicago Blues music. 

How does it feel to be an artist in the digital age? (now with streaming and technology being so prevalent)

The digital age has been critical for me in finding Chicago Blues lovers from all over the world and weaving them into a community. Chicago Blues society has members from Europe, Japan, South America, Canada, and Africa plus tens of thousands from the United States. Digital Age is a resource that allows me to reach people (and for them to reach me) in a way that was never possible before.

What does the word success mean to you?

Success is me sitting here answering these questions in anticipation of talking to you. The fact that you are interested in Chicago Blues and the programs that we are promoting means that we are getting the attention necessary to grow the audience that’s so critical in keeping this music vital. In addition, it brings attention to the healthcare needs of blues musicians and musicians in general. 

What would you like to tell our readers about the Chicago Blues Society? (what’s the one thing you want them to get out of it)

If you love Blues music or are interested in learning more about it, you can join the Chicago Blue Society at no charge and become part of a very tight-knit community of Blues lovers. No snarky commentary and attitude. Simply people who love the music and want to either share their love or learn more about the artists and genre. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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