Evanston resident and blues singer David “Chainsaw” DuPont says he always plays for his mother, who had the greatest influence on him. Mr. DuPont was the first musician in the Jukebox Series directed by Chip Ratliff and presented by Shorefront Legacy Center. Photo by Justin Freise

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On March 21 the first of Shorefront Legacy Center’s Juke Box series of live musicians was held at the center, located in the Weissbourd-Holmes Family Focus building, 2010 Dewy Ave.

Opening night featured the first of many artists: bluesman David “Chainsaw” DuPont. Originally from Mississippi, Mr. DuPont moved to Chicago when he was 15 and later moved to Evanston with his brother, Johnny.

Playing the blues for more than 40 years now, Mr. DuPont says his biggest influence was his mother and that he “plays for her.”

Chip Ratliff, director of the Juke Box Series, recalls that the inspiration for the series came from an idea by Shorefront director, Morris “Dino” Robinson, called “Music 4 the Soul.” Mr. Ratliff also said he realized there was “a lot of living history” in music and “… what better way than to make a series that exposes that?”

Juke Box is not the only program Mr. Ratliff directs. He has created a festival called “New Rhymes and Art” which introduces new, up-and-coming artists.

Another of his projects, “Funkoustic,” teaches the history of funk-music and how it has influenced music and artists today.

The next performance of Shorefront’s Juke Box series will take place on April 25 and will feature Jazz saxophonist Chris Green. More information is available at www.shorefrontlegacy.org.