Apr 27th 2019

Join the Chicago Black Social Culture Map for our second installment of 2019!

One of the primary architects of the musical style known as “House Music,” Jesse Saunders wrote, produced and released the first documented House record titled “ON & ON” through his own label Jes Say Records. “ON & ON” was created and conceived in the summer of 1983, released in January of 1984, and is now celebrating 35 years of House Music in Chicago.

This important milestone solidifies Chicago as the birthplace of House Music. Equally as important, this milestone brands House Music as an American Black Music Genre including House Music in Chicago’s rich music legacy which includes Gospel, Jazz, and Blues. This art form and its origins demands further study and data collection. This event, co curated by Jesse Saunders, brings together exceptional and often unheard voices on the creation of House Music and its evolution from Disco in the late 70’s and 80’s. Jesse will also share critical artifacts related to his career and the formation of House Music in Chicago.

The Chicago Black Social Culture Map is an online public humanities project documenting Black social culture from the Great Migration through the early 21st century with a focus on the emergence of house music and dance in the 1980s. The map features profiles for over 350 different venues, including basic information, first-person stories, and supplemental media, all collected through collaborative community research.

The CBSCM exists to preserve Chicago’s black social cultural lineage – past, present, and future – through an experience that is both fun and informative. In Fall 2018, we launched this interactive digital initiative with a community archiving day including panel discussions, archiving stations, and hands on demonstrations of the online map. In 2019, we are growing that experience into a series of roving map and archiving days focused on the social scene across the city’s South, West, and North sides. Each day features public spaces, personalities, and cultural history connected to specific city geographies.

Bring your photos, flyers, fashion, and stories to be archived on site and added to the digital map! Sign up here to let us know what archiving stations you’d like to participate in.


When Disco Turned House: The Origins of House Music in Chicago (12:15-1:30pm)
Many Chicagoans contributed to the global phenomenon that is House Music. Who are the unsung architects and how does House Music parallel other Chicago Black Music genres?

Marta Bailey | Dancer/Club enthusiast
Nemiah Mitchell | Record Label Owner/Pressed “On and On”
Craig Loftis | DJ/Sound Engineer
George Daniels | Music Retailer
Moderator and Curator: Jesse Saunders

Where’s it Now? House Music Material Culture Preservation Strategies (1:40-2:40pm)
Join the Blackivists© in conversation about Chicago House Music cultural materials and experiences—What were your earliest House Music memories? Bring your photos, outfits, mixtapes and posters. Conduct an oral history interview. Share with the group. Get digital copies. Donate your materials to live at a world-premier House Music Archive.

Panelists: The Blackivists©
Moderator: TBA

The 35th Anniversary of Jesse Saunders’ Vinyl Record “On and On”: The Inspiration and Origins of the first House Music Record (2:45 – 4:00pm)
Jesse Saunders and Vince Lawrence pressed one of the the first vinyl “House Music” records in 1983 which changed the trajectory of the music genre and inspired other Chicago artists to create. What was the motivation and inspiration and how do Chicago music legends inspire young people today to continue to develop the genre?

Jesse Saunders | Pioneer DJ & Producer, Member of Chosen Few DJ Collective
Wayne Williams | Pioneer DJ, Label Executive, Member of Chosen Few DJ Collective
Vince Lawrence | Music Producer & Co-Creator of “On and On”
Moderator: TBA


Co-presented by the Chicago Black Social Culture Map, Honey Pot Performance, The Dance Music Foundation, Actively Archiving, The Black Chicago History Forum, and DuSable Museum

The CBSCM team includes Honey Pot Performance members Meida McNeal, Jo de Presser, and Abra Johnson as well as collaborators Duane Powell, Larissa Johnson, and Kimeco Roberson. Additional partners include Lauren Lowery, Skylah Sensahrae, Micah Salkind, and the Modern Dance Music Research & Archiving Foundation.

Official Website

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