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The music is just a reflection of culture…” “How and Where House Music Was Born."

The genre is House Music, and it was for sure invented by cultured DJs.  Since that time House has evolved and transformed; it has gotten bigger, it has gotten more diverse, it has made a lot of people lucrative lifestyles.  But the story with House’s roots is one about finding freedom, and joy and making the community come together even when that feels impossible. 

How and Where House Music Was Born?

So, when we decided to tell the story of House History, we knew we needed to go to some of the people who were there when it all began; some of the musicians and DJs and Dancers who filled Chicago Clubs and basements decades before House music’s influence took off in Europe and around the globe before it drew millions to festivals, raves, underground private parties and HOUSE parties. 

From Bootleg to B/Side, our musical heritage is legendary at the birthplace of House and Gospel Music, Urban Blues, and Modern Jazz.  Chicago’s music scene to date is as strong as industrial metal, across genres including Hip-Hop, Indie Rock, Experimental Jazz, Classical and so much more.  House Music, built on the foundations of Disco and Experimental Music, has flavored underground in Chicago, Detroit, New York City and Urban cities like Brooklyn and Philly.  With varying levels of popularity since 1970 and its innovative influence, House, Deep House, and Techno can be heard in many different styles of catchy and vibrant popular music. 


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Frankie Knuckles, the Godfather of House Music is to thank.  In Chicago in the late 1970s, Knuckles began his DJ residency at the Warehouse, the house that inspired and names Knuckles’ rapid growing new genre.  It all started in Chicago.  House was originally invented with deep rooted ethnic culture and sexually diverse DJs in the 1970s and 1980s, who were curating a whole new type of dance music while also carving out inclusive spaces for those who felt excluded from other venues.  The Warehouse is best known as the namesake for and one of the origins of House Music.  The Warehouse is specifically associated with Chicago House and was the genre’s birthplace under its first musical director, DJ Frankie Knuckles.  The building was designed as a Chicago Landmark on June 21st, 2023. 

Transformation DJ innovators such as Knuckles, Larry Levan, DJ Ron Hardy, and early musicians played a pivotal role in evolving Disco into early House Music.  These revered DJs forever shaped the modern dance scene.

Pioneering club DJs in the late 70s explored creative ways to edit, mix, and remix records and tracks. So, with the transformation and history of the House Music genre, we have evolved into Deep House and the genre’s origins can be traced to Chicago producer Mr. Finger’s Jazzy, soulful recordings “Mystery of Love” (1985) and “Can You Feel It?” (1986), which according to author Richie Unterberger, moved House Music away from its “posthuman tendencies back toward the lush” soulful sounds of early Disco Music. Deep House is a subgenre of House Music that originated in the 1980s.  Initially fusing elements of Chicago House with the lush frequencies and chords of 1980s Jazz-Funk and touches of soul music.  Its origins are attributed to the early recordings of Larry Heard (aka Mr. Fingers), including his influential track “Can You Feel It?”.  With the Deep House layers of sound and sexy vocals, we can appreciate the genre as music as classical House. 

What track started House Music?

There is some debate, but the first true House record is generally agreed to be Jesse Saunders’s “On & On”.  Recorded with Vince Lawrence in 1983, test driven by Saunders at his DJ residency at The Playground, and released in 1984, it is indebted to Italo Disco, certainly, but is House. With all the current DJs of multiple styles of House Music, we are overwhelmed with their talents and transformations from how House Music initially started.  Source: How House Music Was Born (Music Documentary) Written by: Jennifer Ann King aKa JAGUAR


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