Music of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois is a major center for music[1] in the midwestern United States where distinctive forms of blues (greatly responsible for the future creation of rock and roll), and house music, a genre of electronic dance music, were developed.

The "Great Migration" of poor black workers from the South into the industrial cities brought traditional jazz and blues music to the city, resulting in Chicago blues and "Chicago-style" Dixieland jazz. Notable blues artists included Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Howlin' Wolf and both Sonny Boy Williamsons; jazz greats included Nat King Cole, Gene Ammons, Benny Goodman and Bud Freeman. Chicago is also well known for its soul music.

In the early 1930s, Gospel music began to gain popularity in Chicago due to Thomas A. Dorsey's contributions at Pilgrim Baptist Church.

In the 1980s and 1990s, heavy rock, punk and hip hop also became popular in Chicago. Orchestras in Chicago include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Sinfonietta.[2]

Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters, a major originator of postwar Chicago blues


Guitarist Buddy Guy performing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2006

Chicago's music scene has been well known for its blues music for many years. "Chicago Blues" uses a variety of instruments in a way which heavily influenced early rock and roll music, including instruments like electrically amplified guitar, drums, piano, bass guitar and sometimes the saxophone or harmonica, which are generally used in Delta blues, which originated in Mississippi. Chicago Blues has a more extended palette of notes than the standard six-note blues scale; often, notes from the major scale and dominant 9th chords are added, which gives the music more of a "jazz feel" while still being in the blues genre. Chicago blues is also known for its heavy rolling bass. The music developed mainly as a result of the "Great Migration" of poor black workers from the South into the industrial cities of the North, such as Chicago in particular, in the first half of the 20th century.

Chicago is one of the places where the faster, juicier boogie-woogie emerged from the blues. The most renowned early recordings of boogies were made in Chicago with Clarence Pinetop Smith, who might have been influenced by the brothers Hersal Thomas and George W. Thomas from Houston, who were together in Chicago in the 1920s.

Chicago blues and boogie music continues to be popular today with the annual Chicago Blues Festival, and with appreciation of many musicians such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Willie Dixon; guitar players such as Tampa Red, Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, Elmore James and Lefty Dizz; and "harp" (blues slang for harmonica) players such as Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Syl Johnson, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, Junior Wells, and, most notably, James Cotton.


Honorary Frankie Knuckles Way
An honorary street name sign in Chicago for house music and Frankie Knuckles (d.2014)

House music originated in a Chicago nightclub called The Warehouse. Chicago house is the earliest style of house music. While the origins of the name "house music" are unclear, the most popular belief is that it can be traced to the name of that club. DJ Frankie Knuckles originally popularized house music while working at The Warehouse.[3]

House music was developed in the houses, garages and clubs of Chicago, and was initially for local club-goers in the "underground" club scenes, rather than for widespread commercial release. As a result, the recordings were much more conceptual, and longer than the music usually played on commercial radio. House musicians used analog synthesizers and sequencers to create and arrange the electronic elements and samples on their tracks, combining live traditional instruments and percussion and soulful vocals with preprogrammed electronic synthesizers and "beat-boxes".

Important musicians in the Chicago house scene include Adonis, Mark Farina, Keith Farley, Felix da Housecat, Fingers Inc., Ron Hardy, Larry Heard, Steve 'Silk' Hurley, Marshall Jefferson, Curtis Jones, Paul Johnson, Frankie Knuckles, Lil' Louis, Jesse Saunders, Joe Smooth and Ten City.


The Chicago style

1A Chicago Jazz Club

The distinctive "Chicago style" of jazz originated in southern musicians moving North after 1917, bringing with them the New Orleans "Dixieland" or sometimes called "hot jazz" styles.[4]

King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton became stars of the Chicago jazz scene. Louis Armstrong's recordings with his Chicago-based Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and Hot Seven band came out in the years 1925 to 1928. These recordings marked the transition of original New Orleans jazz to a more sophisticated type of American improvised music with more emphasis on solo choruses instead of just little solo breaks. This style of playing was adopted by white musicians who favored meters of 2 instead of 4.[5] Emphasis on solos, faster tempos, string bass and guitar (replacing the traditional tuba and banjo) and saxophones also distinguish Chicago-style playing from New Orleans style. When Chicago musicians started playing 4 beat measures, they laid the foundation for the swing era. The Lindy Hop was originally danced to 4 beat Chicago style jazz and went on to become one of the iconic features of the swing era.

Important musicians in the Chicago style include Lovie Austin, Muggsy Spanier, Jimmy McPartland, Bix Beiderbecke, Eddie Condon, Bud Freeman, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Frank Teschemacher, and Frank Trumbauer.[5] The gangsters of Chicago engaged profiled musicians like Earl Hines, whose benefit was to lead an orchestra in one of the city's top locations. Hines and Benny Goodman emancipated from Chicago style when they became two of the most famous band leaders of the swing era.

Two decades later, original Chicago-style pianist Art Hodes presented the classic jazz style in a TV show series.

Modern Chicago jazz

From the mid 1960s to the present day the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians has nurtured "Great Black Music: Ancient to the Future."

Mayor's Office Festivals Billboard
The Jazz Festival is among the most important annual public festivities in the city.

In the 21st century, Chicago continues to have a vibrant and innovative jazz scene, featuring the annual Chicago Jazz Festival.[6] Famous festival performers include Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Benny Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Anthony Braxton, Betty Carter, Lionel Hampton, Chico O'Farrill's big band, Jimmy Dawkins, Von Freeman, Johnny Frigo, Slide Hampton, and Roy Haynes.

Musicians from all surviving eras of jazz perform regularly in the city, release recordings, and tour nationally and internationally.

Sinyan Shen, internationally known for his Shanghai classical repertoire and Shanghai jazz performances based on tonal interests and just intervals, is based in Chicago.

Musicians still performing today who originally came to prominence in the bebop and hard bop eras include Von Freeman and Jimmy Ellis, both contemporaries of former Chicagoan Johnny Griffin.

Members of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians working regularly in the city include Fred Anderson, Ernest Dawkins, Aaron Getsug, and Isaiah Spencer. Since the 1960s, members of the organization have performed their version of "Great Black Music" throughout the world.

Innovative jazz musicians who have come to public attention since the early 1990s include Marbin, David Boykin, Karl E. H. Seigfried, Jeff Parker, Joshua Abrams and Jim Baker. Common to many of this new generation is an embrace of a wide variety of styles and techniques.[7]


During the mid-1960s to the late 1970s a new style of soul music emerged from Chicago. Its sound, like southern soul with its rich influence of black gospel music, also exhibited an unmistakable gospel sound, but was somewhat lighter and more delicate in its approach, and was sometimes called "soft soul".

Popular R&B/soul artists from Chicago include The Impressions, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Lou Rawls, The Chi-lites, The Five Stairsteps, The Staple Singers, Earth Wind & Fire, Rufus, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Dave Hollister, Carl Thomas, and Jennifer Hudson. Chicago soul labels, including Vee-Jay, Chess Records, OKeh, ABC-Paramount, Brunswick, and Curtom, established a major presence in R&B/soul music.


Fall Out Boy in 2007

In 1965 Chicago's burgeoning pop rock horn sound moved into national exposure with the brass arrangements in early recordings by The Buckinghams, who recorded their first hits at the historic Chess Studios. Their horn sound was followed quickly and expanded upon substantially by the rock band Chicago, originally named the Chicago Transit Authority. Other popular Chicago-based bands from the 1970s and early 1980s include Shadows of Knight, Cryan' Shames, The Buckinghams, The Flock, Ides of March, New Colony Six, Mason Proffit, Styx, Survivor, REO Speedwagon (Champaign) and Cheap Trick (Rockford).

As documented in Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life, the 1980s independent music scene was alive and well in Chicago. Some of the more famous punk and "post-punk" products originating from the city were Naked Raygun, The Effigies, 88 Fingers Louie, Big Black, The Queers and Screeching Weasel, with punk legend Patti Smith also born in the city. Many of these bands would become major precursors to pop punk (Screeching Weasel and The Queers) and post-hardcore (Big Black and Naked Raygun).[8] At this time Steve Albini (of Big Black) also began his prolific recording engineer work with acts both local and national.[9] The Victims (American band)The Victims represented Chicago on the New Wave scene.

The 1980s punk scene eventually gave way to the 1990s alternative rock boom with artists like Local H, Eleventh Dream Day, Ministry, Veruca Salt (the band Seether is named after their song Seether), My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Material Issue, Liz Phair, Urge Overkill, LaTour, The Tossers, The Jesus Lizard, and The Smashing Pumpkins gaining fame. Many of these bands got their career started at noted alternative music venues Metro (originally Cabaret Metro) and Lounge Ax, and later on influential alternative music station Q101. Alternative icons Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Adam Jones (Tool), and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) also attended school in the area. In the late 1990s, along with Milwaukee, WI and Champaign-Urbana, IL, Chicago also supported a healthy midwestern emo/post-hardcore scene that included Cap'n Jazz, Braid and American Football.

Since the late 1990s/early 2000s, Chicago has also become a major force in the American heavy metal scene including a handful of deathcore, death metal and industrial metal groups. Bands such as Dope, Disturbed, SOiL, From Zero, No One, Ministry, Dance Club Massacre, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, Macabre, Oceano and Lovehammers hail from the Chicago area.

Since the 2000s Chicago has remained a hotbed for independent music. Being home to a number of independent record labels such as Touch and Go Records, Thrill Jockey Records, Bloodshot Records, Drag City Records, Victory Records and Hozac Records, Chicago continues to have one of the most active indie scenes in the United States. The area is home to the foundations of American hardcore punk, alt-country, noise rock, industrial music, and many other independent music scenes.

Contemporary bands with ties to Chicago include Wilco, Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Califone, The Greenskeepers, The Mekons, Smith Westerns, Andrew Bird, Umphrey's McGee, Neko Case, and Matthew & Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces. The 2000s have also seen many punk/pop/rock bands from the Chicago area attain national success, including Disturbed, SOiL, Alkaline Trio, Kill Hannah, The Academy Is, Rise Against, The Audition, Spitalfield, Chevelle, the Plain White T's, and OK Go.

Fall Out Boy, from Wilmette, Illinois, has been the most commercially successful band to come from the Chicago area in recent years, scoring 4 #1 albums on the Billboard Hot 200.

Despite the scene's frequent distaste for local politics, city funding has allowed Chicago to become America's premier music festival city,[10] hosting popular indie headliners such as Superchunk, Black Francis, Pavement, The Flaming Lips, Spoon, De La Soul, Mos Def, Isis, Olivia Tremor Control and Junior Boys. It has also hosted music festivals such as Pitchfork Music Festival, Lollapalooza (since 2005), Chicago Blues Festival, Alehorn of Power, Riot Fest, and a free weekly Monday music series called "Downtown Sound", at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Chicago's music scene varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, but overall has a large focus on independent music due to its influences from local record stores and local radio stations WXRT-FM and Loyola University Chicago's WLUW.

Chicago is home to media tastemakers Pitchfork Media, The Onion's The A.V. Club, Consequence of Sound, the nationally syndicated Sound Opinions radio talk show, and CHIRP,[11] a community radio station providing the internet with independent music. The station also bids for support to convince the United States Congress and the FCC to remove existing barriers to low power FM radio licenses in urban areas.


The hip hop of Chicago, sometimes called "Chi-town"[12] in the rap industry, includes rappers like Kanye West, Twista, Common, Chance the Rapper, Lupe Fiasco, Da Brat, Yung Berg, Chief Keef and Shawnna.

Kanye West's first album was nominated for Grammy Award for Album of the Year and won Best Rap Album. Lupe Fiasco's 2006 album Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor was a #1 selling rap album.

Today, Chicago is well established within the hip hop industry.


Chicago artists and impresarios have been important in the development of the Gospel music genre.[13] Its origin and rise in popularity is mainly due to the "godfather of Gospel music", Thomas A. Dorsey. Dorsey began his career as a blues pianist, but later began composing religious music to the rhythms of jazz and blues, later calling it "Gospel".[14] His most popular song, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand", was a favorite of Martin Luther King, Jr., and was sung by Mahalia Jackson by his request at his funeral. Many other artists have recorded their own renditions of "Precious Lord", including another Chicago Gospel artist, Albertina Walker. Dorsey influenced other Chicago Gospel artists such as The Caravans and Little Joey McClork.

Tired of the treatment he received in other music publishing houses, Dorsey founded his own called Dorsey House of Music.

Music historians often cite Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood as the birthplace of Gospel music. Originators of the genre, including James Cleveland, The Staples Singers, and the Edwin Hawkins singers, have performed there.

Other instrumental members in the Gospel music movement were Roberta Martin, Sallie Martin, and Kenneth Morris.

The influences of jazz and blues have been replaced with more contemporary influences such as hip hop music, rap, and rhythm and blues.[15]

Chicago is home to the annual GospelFest where traditional and contemporary Gospel choirs perform.

Rev. Milton Brunson and The Thompson Community Singers originated in Chicago. Dr. Charles G. Hayes and Rev. Dr. Clay Evans both had chart-topping choirs in Chicago. Urban contemporary gospel artists such as Ray and Percy Bady, Darius Brooks, Ricky Dillard & New Generation Chorale, Joshua's Troop, New Direction, Shekinah Glory Ministry, and VaShawn Mitchell all have had Gospel hits and hail from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.[16]

Music venues and institutions in Chicago


20070719 Chicago Theatre
Chicago Theatre at night
Civic Opera House 060528
Exterior of the Civic Opera House

Chicago has many music venues.

Former venues


See also


  1. ^ Centerstage Chicago Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2008-09-18
  2. ^ Chicago Sinfonietta Website. Retrieved on 2008-11-7
  3. ^ Cosgrove, Stuart, "The History of House Sound of Chicago The Story Continues..." Web reproduction [1]
  4. ^ "Research Resources on Chicago and the Great Migration". The University of Chicago Library This site may move. Uncomment this archive if it is suddenly lost. Chicago Jazz Archive. Archived from the original on 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  5. ^ a b *Owsley, Dennis C.; Owsley, Rosa B. "Jazz History: A Study Guide". Jazz Unlimited. Dennis C. and Rosa B. Owsley. Retrieved 2008-03-22. Many southern blacks migrated to Chicago during and after World War I and the musicians migrated with them. White Chicagoans developed a style based on what they heard the blacks play. ... Most of the important early jazz recordings were made in the area.
  6. ^ "Chicago Jazz Festival" City of Chicago - Chicago Jazz Festival. Retrieved on 2008-09-07
  7. ^ Reverend Al Sharpton, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Fall 2008, p298.
  8. ^ Huey, Steve. "Effigies - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  9. ^ "The Top 20 Steve Albini-Recorded Albums". Stereogum.
  10. ^ "Publications" (PDF).
  11. ^ The Chicago Independent Radio Project. "CHIRP Radio - From the Chicago Independent Radio Project".
  12. ^ Chi-town - Rap Dictionary. Retrieved on 2008-11-12
  13. ^ Marovich, Robert M. (2015). A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. p. 7. ISBN 978 0 252 08069 2.
  14. ^ Guarino, Mark. "Because gospel music is still being played in the very churches where it originated". Chicago Magazine. Rich Gamble. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  15. ^ Russick, John. "Gospel". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Artist Database". ChicagoGospel. ChicagoGospel. Retrieved 7 March 2014.

External links

Chicago Blues Festival

The Chicago Blues Festival is an annual event held in June, that features three days of performances by top-tier blues musicians, both old favorites and the up-and-coming. It is hosted by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (formerly the Mayor's Office of Special Events), and always occurs in early June. Until 2017, the event always took place at and around Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park, adjacent to the Lake Michigan waterfront east of the Loop in Chicago. In 2017, the festival was moved to the nearby Millennium Park.

Chicago blues

The Chicago blues is a form of blues music indigenous to Chicago, Illinois. Chicago blues is an electric blues style of urban blues.

Chicago hardcore

Chicago developed a hardcore punk scene in the early 1980s. Chicago Hardcore is now characterized by fast, hardcore punk rock with familiar sounds to Boston, New York, and Los Angeles hardcore. Chicago Hardcore was, and still is, characterized by fast punk beats, angry protest lyrics, and melodic singing. In addition, the Chicago hardcore sound is considered one of the pioneering sounds in the creation of post-hardcore music.

Naked Raygun, Big Black, and the Effigies were popular at the emerging of the hardcore scene. These acts have also been seen as important to the development of the post-hardcore genre, as well as for fusing the hardcore sound with influences from the late 1970s and early 1980s British post-punk scene This continues to influence current Chicago punk bands such as Rise Against and (early)Fall Out Boy.

In recent years, the scene has had a wave of heavy, down-tuned hardcore bands come into the national and international spotlight. One of the best was from the north side of Chicago named All Is Lost putting out 7 and singles in Japan. Harm's Way, No Zodiac, and Weekend Nachos hail from Chicago. Harm's Way is signed to Deathwish Inc., and has toured with Backtrack, Expire, and Suburban Scum. Weekend Nachos, with their powerviolence sound, has been signed to Relapse Records.

Chicago hip hop

The hip hop scene in Chicago, Illinois, has produced many artists of various styles. Famous rappers in Chicago include Twista, Lupe Fiasco, SEVENSIXX, Bump J, Rhymefest, Chief Keef, Chance the Rapper, Lil Durk, King Louis, Da Brat, Qualo (group), Shawnna, Kanye West, Noname, Fredo Santana, Common, G Herbo, Lil Bibby, Crucial Conflict, Do or Die, Open Mike Eagle, Jeremih, Juice WRLD, Psychodrama, Juice, Saba, Lud Foe, and Smino.

Chicago house

Chicago house refers to house music produced during the mid to late 1980s within Chicago. The term is generally used to refer to the first ever house music productions, which were by Chicago-based artists in the 1980s.

Chicago soul

Chicago soul is a style of soul music that arose during the 1960s in Chicago. Along with Detroit, the home of Motown, and Memphis, with its hard-edged, gritty performers (see Memphis soul), Chicago and the Chicago soul style helped spur the album-oriented soul revolution of the early 1970s.

The sound of Chicago soul, like southern soul with its rich influence of black gospel music, also exhibited an unmistakable gospel sound, but was somewhat lighter and more delicate in its approach. Chicago vocal groups tended to feature laid-back sweet harmonies, while solo artists exhibited a highly melodic and somewhat pop approach to their songs.

Accompaniment usually featured highly orchestrated arrangements, with horns and strings, by such notable arrangers as Johnny Pate (who largely worked with horns) and Riley Hampton (who specialized in strings). This kind of soul music is sometimes called "soft soul", to distinguish it from the more harsh and gospelly "hard soul" style.

Disco Demolition Night

Disco Demolition Night was an ill-fated baseball promotion on July 12, 1979 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. At the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field between games of the twi-night doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Many of those in attendance had come to see the explosion rather than the games and rushed onto the field after the detonation. The playing field was so damaged by the explosion and by the fans that the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game to the Tigers.

In the late 1970s, dance-oriented disco music was popular in the United States, particularly after being featured in hit films such as Saturday Night Fever (1977). Disco sparked a backlash from rock music fans. This opposition was prominent enough that the White Sox, seeking to fill seats at Comiskey Park during a lackluster season, engaged Chicago shock jock and anti-disco campaigner Steve Dahl for the promotion at the July 12 doubleheader. Dahl's sponsoring radio station was 97.9 WLUP, so attendees would pay 98 cents and bring a disco record; between games, Dahl would destroy the collected vinyl in an explosion.

White Sox officials had hoped for a crowd of 20,000, about 5,000 more than usual. Instead, at least 50,000—including tens of thousands of Dahl's adherents—packed the stadium, and thousands more continued to sneak in after gates were closed. Many of the records were not collected by staff and were thrown like flying discs from the stands. After Dahl blew up the collected records, thousands of fans stormed the field and remained there until dispersed by riot police.

The second game was initially postponed, but forfeited by the White Sox the next day by order of American League president Lee MacPhail. Disco Demolition Night preceded, and may have helped precipitate, the decline of disco in late 1979; some scholars and disco artists have described the event as expressive of racism and homophobia. Disco Demolition Night remains well known as one of the most extreme promotions in major league history.

Drill music

Drill music is a style of trap music that originated in the South Side of Chicago in the early 2010s.

The genre is a prominent feature of Chicago hip hop, and is defined by its dark, violent, nihilistic lyrical content and ominous trap-influenced beats.

Drill progressed into the American mainstream in mid-2012 following the success of rappers and producers like Young Chop, Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Fredo Santana, SD and Lil Reese, who had many local fans and a significant Internet presence. Media attention and the signing of drill musicians to major labels followed. Drill musicians were noted for their graphic lyrical content and association with crime in Chicago.

A regional subgenre, UK drill, rose to prominence in London, particularly in district of Brixton, beginning in 2012.


Ghettotech (also known as Detroit club) is a genre of electronic music originating from Detroit. It combines elements of Chicago's ghetto house with electro, Detroit techno, Miami bass and UK garage. It features four-on-the-floor rhythms and is usually faster than most other dance music genres, at roughly 145 to 160 BPM. As with ghetto house, vocals are often repetitive and sometimes pornographic. As DJ Godfather puts it, "the beats are really gritty, really raw, nothing polished."Ghettotech was born as a DJing style, inspired by the eclecticism of The Electrifying Mojo and the fast-paced mixing and turntablism of The Wizard, with DJs mixing genres including jungle, ghetto house, hip hop, R&B, electro and Detroit techno. The general BPM of the music's mixing style increases over time.

A Detroit ghettotech style of dancing is called the jit. This dance style relies heavily on fast footwork combinations, drops, spins and improvisations. The roots of jit date back to Detroit Jitterbugs in the 1970s. Chicago's equivalent dance style is Juke, where the focus is on footwork dating back to the late 1980s.Ghettotech was an integral part of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, an annual event.

Ghettotech saw a decline around 2007 as some key artists distanced themselves from the genre. In recent years however the surge in popularity of Ghettotech's sister genre Chicago footwork, has helped to spawn a new listener base. Ghettotech's newest wave of producers often produce tracks at 160 BPM to better accommodate mixing with Chicago footwork and other genres.

Hip house

Hip house, also known as rap house or house rap, is a musical genre that mixes elements of house music and hip hop. The style rose to prominence during the late 1980s in Chicago and New York. Originating in Chicago and in the United Kingdom, the style quickly became popular with tracks like "Rok da House" by English electronic group the Beatmasters featuring British female MCs the Cookie Crew.Minor controversy ensued in 1989 when a U.S. record called "Turn Up the Bass" by Tyree Cooper featuring Kool Rock Steady claimed it was the "first hip house record on vinyl". The Beatmasters disputed this, pointing out that "Rok da House" had originally been written and pressed to vinyl in 1986. The outfit then released "Who’s in the House?" featuring British emcee Merlin, containing the lines "Beatmasters stand to attention, hip house is your invention" and "Watch out Tyree, we come faster". More claims to the hip-house crown were subsequently laid down in tracks by Fast Eddie, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, Pamp & Da Knox, and Tony Scott. Jack Street Records' 1990 release of Vitamin C's "The Chicago Way" helped to bring focus to the lyrical prowess of hip house rappers.

House music

House music is a genre of electronic dance music created by club DJs and music producers in Chicago in the early 1980s. Early house music was generally characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats, rhythms provided by drum machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines. While house displayed several characteristics similar to disco music, which preceded and influenced it, as both were DJ and record producer-created dance music, house was more electronic and minimalistic. The mechanical, repetitive rhythm of house was one of its main components. Many house compositions were instrumental, with no vocals; some had singing throughout the song with lyrics; and some had singing but no actual words.

House music developed in Chicago's underground dance club culture in the early 1980s, as DJs from the subculture began altering the pop-like disco dance tracks to give them a more mechanical beat and deeper basslines. As well, these DJs began to mix synth pop, rap, Latin, and even jazz into their tracks. Latin music, particularly salsa clave rhythm, became a dominating riff of house music. It was pioneered by Chicago DJs such as Chip E., and Steve Hurley. It was influenced by Chicago DJ and record producer Frankie Knuckles, the Chicago acid-house electronic music group Phuture, and the Tennessee DJ/producer Mr. Fingers. The genre was originally associated with the Black American LGBT subculture but has since spread to the mainstream. From its beginnings in the Chicago club and local radio scene, the genre spread internationally to London, then to American cities such as New York City and Detroit, and eventually globally.Chicago house music acts from the early to mid-1980s found success on the US dance charts on various Chicago independent record labels that were more open to sign local house music artists. These same acts also experienced some success in the United Kingdom, garnering hits in that country. Due to this success, by the late 1980s, Chicago house music acts suddenly found themselves being offered major label deals. House music proved to be a commercially successful genre and a more mainstream pop-based variation grew increasingly popular. Since the early to mid-1990s, house music has been infused into mainstream pop and dance music worldwide. In the 2010s, the genre, while keeping several of its core elements, notably the prominent kick drum on most beats, varies widely in style and influence, ranging from soulful and atmospheric to the more minimalistic microhouse. House music has also fused with several other genres creating fusion subgenres, such as euro house, tech house, electro house and jump house. One subgenre, acid house, was based around the squelchy, deep electronic tones created by Roland's TB-303 bass synthesizer.

Major acts such as Madonna, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Martha Wash, CeCe Peniston, Bananarama, Robin S., Steps, Kylie Minogue, Björk, and C+C Music Factory were influenced by House music in the 1990s and beyond. After enjoying significant success which started in the late 1980s, house music grew even larger during the second wave of progressive house (1999–2001). The genre has remained popular and fused into other popular subgenres, notably ghetto house, deep house, future house and tech house. As of today, house music remains popular on radio and in clubs while retaining a foothold on the underground scenes across the globe.

I Love You Truly

"I Love You Truly" is a parlor song written by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. Since its publication in 1901 it has been sung at weddings, recorded by numerous artists over many decades, and heard on film and television.


Lollapalooza is an annual 4-day music festival based in Chicago, Illinois at Grant Park. Performances include but are not limited to alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and electronic music. Lollapalooza has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups and various visual artists. The music festival hosts more than 160,000 people each year.

Conceived and created in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, Lollapalooza ran annually until 1997, and was revived in 2003. From its inception through 1997 and its revival in 2003, the festival toured North America. In 2004, the festival organizers decided to expand the dates to two days per city, but poor ticket sales forced the 2004 tour to be cancelled.In 2005, Farrell and the William Morris Agency partnered with Austin, Texas–based company Capital Sports Entertainment (now C3 Presents) and retooled it into its current format as a weekend destination festival in Chicago at Grant Park. In 2014, Live Nation Entertainment bought a controlling interest in C3 Presents.In 2010 it was announced that Lollapalooza would debut outside the United States, with a branch of the festival staged in Chile's capital Santiago on April 2–3, 2011 where they partnered up with Santiago-based company Lotus. In 2011, the company Geo Events confirmed the Brazilian version of the event, which was held at the Jockey Club in São Paulo on 7 and 8 April 2012. In September 2013, Buenos Aires was selected as the third Lollapalooza in South America, starting on April 2014, and in November 2014, the first European Lollapalooza was announced, which was held at the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.

Maxwell Street

Maxwell Street is an east-west street in Chicago, Illinois that intersects with Halsted Street just south of Roosevelt Road. It runs at 1330 South in the numbering system running from 500 West to 1126 West. The Maxwell Street neighborhood is considered part of the Near West Side and is one of the city's oldest residential districts. It is notable as the location of the celebrated Maxwell Street Market and the birthplace of Chicago blues and the "Maxwell Street Polish", a sausage sandwich. A large portion of the area is now part of the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and a private housing development sponsored by the university.

Mississippi Records

Mississippi Records is a record store and label. It was founded by Eric Isaacson in 2003 in Portland, Oregon. It also houses a café, equipment repair shop, and the Portland Museum of Modern Art. On January 1, 2019, filmmaker Cyrus Moussavi and musician Gordon Ashworth became the new owners with Isaacson working as a lable project manager. Mississippi Records relocated to Chicago. In 2019, Mississippi Records went on a national tour.

Old Town School of Folk Music

The Old Town School of Folk Music is a Chicago teaching and performing institution that launched the careers of many notable folk music artists. Founded by Folk musicians Frank Hamilton and Win Stracke, and Dawn Greening, the School opened in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago in 1957 (the original location at 333 west North Avenue has since been demolished). It began by offering guitar and banjo lessons in a communal teaching style and hosting performances by well-known folk musicians. Currently the school is led by executive director Bau Graves and has an enrollment of about 6,000 students per week, 2,700 of them children.

Sunset Cafe

The Sunset Cafe, also known as The Grand Terrace Cafe, was a jazz club in Chicago, Illinois operating during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. It was one of the most important jazz clubs in America, especially during the period between 1917 and 1928 when Chicago became a creative capital of jazz innovation and again during the emergence of bebop in the early 1940s. From its inception, the club was a rarity as a haven from segregation, since the Sunset Cafe was an integrated or "Black and Tan" club where African Americans, along with other ethnicities, could mingle freely with white Americans without much fear of reprisal. Many important musicians developed their careers at the Sunset/Grand Terrace Cafe.

Taste of Chicago

The Taste of Chicago (known locally as The Taste) is the world's largest food festival, held for five days in July in Chicago, Illinois in Grant Park. The event is the largest festival in Chicago. Non-food-related events include live music on multiple stages, including the Petrillo Music Shell, pavilions, and performances. Musical acts vary from local artists to nationally known artists like Carlos Santana, Moby, Kenny Rogers or Robert Plant. Since 2008, The Chicago Country Music Festival no longer occurs simultaneously with Taste of Chicago as it departed the Taste of Chicago for its own two-day festival typically held in the fall. Rides are also present, such as a Ferris wheel and the Jump to Be Fit.

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