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Chicago House Music’s 40th Anniversary to Be Celebrated in Windy City


To mark the ostensible 40th anniversary of Chicago house music, Derrick Carter and DJ Heather will headline a free event at Chicago’s Daley Plaza, which begins at noon on May 29. House Music 40 has teamed with the ARC Music Festival to produce the event, which Mother Diva will host. It’s the first of several events the city is hosting to celebrate the anniversary.

The event is part of House Music 40’s mission to remind people of the influence of Chicago house music and to raise money for DJs, artists, producers, and promoters from the scene with health issues. ARC’s mission is to educate music fans on EDM’s origins.

“House Music 40 understands that after everything those DJs have given us, it’s important for us as fans to give back,” ARC Music Festival’s cofounder, John Curley, said in a statement. “It’s impossible to fully thank someone for the gift of house music, but in every action, we take with ARC we aim to keep letting them know that ARC is a living monument dedicated to them and house music everywhere.” (ARC will take place Labor Day weekend in Union Park.)

Although one of the scene’s founding fathers, Frankie Knuckles, was playing primordial house at the Chicago outpost of the Warehouse in the late Seventies, this event’s organizers have chosen to mark 1984 as year one for house because of the commercial success of several singles released that year. Those songs include “On and On” by Jesse Saunders and Vince Lawrence, “Jack Trax” by Chip E. and Joe Smooth, and “Your Love” by Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles, among others.


The event will include a presentation by Cook County Board Commissioner Bill Lowry, who will present the resolution of House Music 40. “As a Southsider who grew up enjoying house music, it is an honor to show tribute to the originators of house and its birthplace — launching a global phenomenon that has contributed to our great city and our county,” Lowry said. “We’re excited to be a part of the kick-off celebrations.”

About a year ago, the Windy City recognized the Warehouse as a Chicago landmark. “The Warehouse at 206 South Jefferson is where Black and Brown Chicagoans celebrated life and love and the birth of house music, a genre that has taken over the globe,” Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa said at the time, according to Block Club Chicago. “The Warehouse is where Frankie Knuckles, a Grammy winner and proud openly gay Black man, created a safe space for everyone.”


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