Chicago blues in the Chiriqui highlands

Li'l Ed & The Blues Imperials

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Li’l Ed & The Blues Imperials

Blues history runs deep through Lil’ Ed’s blood. His uncle and musical mentor was the great Chicago slide-guitarist, songwriter and recording artist, J.B. Hutto. Lovers of Chicago blues will not want to miss the rare opportunity to see and hear Li’l Ed with his band, the Blues Imperials, in Boquete during the Jazz and Blues Festival February 4 – 8. Their spontaneous and unpredictable performances are legendary among blues fans worldwide.

Lil' Ed Williams

Lil’ Ed Williams (born April 18, 1955 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. With his backing band, the Blues Imperials, Williams has built up a loyal following.

Born in Chicago on April 8, 1955, Ed grew up surrounded by music. He was playing guitar, then drums and bass, by the time he was 12. Ed received lessons and support from Hutto. In 1975, Ed formed the first incarnation of The Blues Imperials.

Quickly, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials went from playing local bars to clubs, concert stages and festivals coast to coast, giving national audiences their first taste of the band’s propulsive “boogie” blues and wild stage show. They have played the Long Beach Blues Festival, the San Francisco Blues Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Doheny Blues Festival, the Sacramento Heritage Festival, the Thunder Bay Blues Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Blues Festival, the Pocono Blues Festival, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and the Rawa Blues Festival in Poland. They have toured throughout Canada, Australia, Europe and Japan.

Li'l Ed & The Blues Imperials

Li’l Ed (dressed in red /vestido en rojo) & The Blues Imperials.

The Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival presents Li’l Ed & The Blues Imperials in a jam session together with the Canadian soul and blues diva, Shakura S’Aida, on Friday, February 6 at the Sabor restaurant in Valle Escondido at 8 p.m. and on the main stage at the Valle Escondido amphitheater on Sunday, February 8 at 3p.m.

Tickets are available for $35 per day or $55 for a weekend pass at Mailboxes ETC. in Coronado and Boquete, and online where the complete festival program is available for download. For more details, visit


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