Brett Champlin

Executive Director

When Brett was 13, he began to teach himself to play guitar on a used acoustic guitar that had only three strings. While in high school in Oakland, California, he played saxophone in a rock band but he switched to guitar when he was at Southern Illinois University, where he played in both a folk music duo and in a blues rock band.

The band, originally named "OM", moved to San Francisco in 1968 and changed it's name to "Devil's Kitchen". Devil's Kitchen Band played all of the major venues on the West Coast and especially the Bay Area, eventually becoming the "house band" at Chet Helms' Family Dog Ballroom. They opened for and jammed with the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, Santana, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Allman Brothers, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Savoy Brown,Ten Years After, Lightning Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, Magic Sam and many others. (see DevilsKitchenBand.com)

When that band broke up, Brett traveled around the world and eventually settled in Chicago, went back to school for his MBA, and worked as an IT Manager and Management Consultant in large corporations for the next 35 years before retiring to play music again.

Since retiring, Brett can be found at blues jams in the Chicago area or listening to his favorite blues players three to four nights a week. He also started going to harmonica and guitar camps that were fun but none that taught Chicago style electric urban blues. So he decided to start one and that is how the Chicago Blues Camp was born.