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Toronzo Cannon to perform socially distanced, free concert at FitzGerald’s

Cannon is a familiar presence on Chicago’s music scene, having played the Chicago Blues Festival 10 times.

Toronzo Cannon will play FitzGerald’s Nov. 14.
Toronzo Cannon will play FitzGerald’s Nov. 14.
Alligator Records

Chicago blues guitarist Toronzo Cannon kicks off a new phase of his life by performing a free concert at a suburban venue.

Cannon, who retired in September after 28 years as a CTA bus driver, is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at Berwyn-based venue FitzGerald’s (6615 Roosevelt Road).

FitzGerald’s, which has outdoor seating-only for the show, is asking concertgoers to make a reservation via the venue’s website. Social-distancing guidelines will be adhered to and guests are asked to bring masks.

Cannon, who has played across the globe, and the Chicago Blues Festival 10 times, is known for his fiery guitar playing.

He draws on his experiences as a CTA bus driver as an influence on his songwriting.

“We’ve done over 150 shows since COVID [-19], and Toronzo played for us this summer,” said Will Duncan, FitzGerald’s owner, when referring to Cannon’s sold-out show in August at the venue. “We’re excited to have him back.”

A British media outlet named Cannon’s latest Alligator Records release, “The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp,” the No. 2 best blues album of 2019.

“People get used to everyday life, so it’s easy to miss the things around them,” said Cannon in a statement. “I write about those things. I know the problems of Chicago, the hardship. But I love and respect the city. I’m proud to be carrying the Chicago blues tradition forward and honoring those blues giants who came here from the south and created the city’s blues sound.”