Chicago House Music | History, Venues & Events Guide

Chicago has a rich musical history and is known for many sonic innovations, including gospel musicdrill bit, chicago style blues – and house music.

With such a large international following, some fans don’t realize that Chicago is the birthplace of house music. Developed by black DJs in the late 1970s and 1980s, Chicago house music quickly grew from an underground dance scene to a global phenomenon.

Learn more about Chicago’s house music heritage and where to experience it for yourself.

chicago chamber music venues and clubs

Wisdom bar has a long history in Chicago’s house scene. This small basement club in Wrigleyville opened in 1982 with Frankie Knuckles as its first DJ. Today you’ll hear a variety of house DJs from around the world, including legendary Chicago house DJ Derrick Carter, who is based at Smartbar.

monitorable is an underground nightclub that hosts international artists and plays a selection of electronic and house music. This upscale venue in River North features rotating dancing DJs from around the world.

Shidao Art Bank Get an up-close look at the history of house music through Frankie Knuckles’ personal vinyl collection. The Grammy Award-winning artist has cataloged approximately 5,000 records documenting the development of house music. Resident DJs mix in curated tracks at regular public performances.

Discover more iconic and unknown things chicago house music venues.

chicago house music festivals and events

Chicago House Music Festival Crowd
chicago house music festival

Chicago House Music Festival and Conference House music fans from across the country come to Chicago for a free, multi-day celebration of the genre that was born in Chicago. The annual event kicks off the summer with DJs and live performances showcasing the various sounds and styles of house music.

A few selected picnics It was the highlight of the year for the college deans. This house party style event is held every July in Jackson Park and features over 12 hours of non-stop house music from South Side DJs who help create the event.

My music festival is a two-day summer music festival held in Harrison Park in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The event features dozens of house DJs, including iconic pioneers such as Derrick Carter and Marshall Jefferson, as well as local food, merchandise and art.

ARC Music Festival Held over three days at Union Park over Labor Day weekend. This immersive celebration of dance music showcases house DJs as well as techno and other genres at festivals and after-parties across the city.

Chicago House Music History

In 1977, DJ Frankie Knuckles moved to Chicago and became the musical director of the new club. The site is located in a former factory in a secluded area of ​​the West Loop community. The club is called storehousea place that would become the birthplace of house music and an official Chicago landmark.

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Frankie Knuckles plays a creative combination of disco, funk and European synth music with gospel music, drum machines and electronic synthesizers. The crowd was predominantly black, Latino and gay, and they came to dance in a space free of racism and homophobia.

house music festival
Image source: Courtesy of the City of Chicago

This music came to be known as house music, referring to the clubs where it all originated. Soon, the new style (defined as songs with a 4/4 rhythm and upbeat dance rhythms, complemented by electronic drum machines and soulful choruses) began popping up in lounges and house parties on the city’s South Side.

While Frankie Knuckles is known as the Godfather of house music, other Chicago pioneers include Jesse Saunders (credited for producing the first house album sold to the public). Chamber Music Records), Marshall Jefferson, Farley “Jackmaster” Keith, Ron Hardy and Steve “ Silk”) Hurley.

By the time Frankie Knuckles left The Warehouse in 1983, Chicago radio stations were regularly playing house music. It expanded to cities like Detroit, New York, London, and eventually other parts of the world.

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