WHAT A WEEK IN CHICAGO HOUSE MUSIC!

What a week it was!

Before the Festival

2017ChosenFewFestival

I’m finally fully recuperated from last week’s events. It was non-stop parties, music, fellowship, and fun! The drinks were flowing and the music was amazing. The Chosen Few Djs once again outdid themselves with a week filled with events that had house heads dancing for several days! The week kicked off with House Music Night at the Chicago White Sox game last Monday evening. House heads gathered with friends and family and enjoyed music before the game, DJs spinning on the field and Chosen Few DJ, Wayne Williams throwing out the first pitch! After the game, the after party was held at the ChiSoxx sports bar & grill. Tuesday, we gathered at Reynolds for our favorite party of the week.  We R Tuesday nights at Reynolds.  Chosen Few DJ, Mike Dunn and Tony T did what they do best, pack a house and made them sweat. The energy was infectious and the crowed was ready to party! Weds was the official kickoff.  House heads gathered at Daley Plaza under the Picasso statue for a lunch time dance party. 2 hours of house music filled the downtown Chicago air.  That evening, there were two main events, the House Club Pub Crawl and the Single Release party for Chicago Artist, Jon Pierce.  The 3rd Annual House Club Tour/Pub Crawl featured 40 DJs, 13 clubs and lasted for 7 hours.  House heads were transported to some of the hottest clubs in the city to enjoy music until midnight.  It was like getting to hear your favorite DJs in one night! One of the stops on the house club pub tour was the Renaissance Bronzeville. Renaissance hosted the single release party for Chicago Artist, Jon Pierce.  Jon released his newest single, Come Together, on Traxsource and held a party to celebrate its release.  Performing with his amazing band, Jon brought his soulful sounds and amazing live show to the Renaissance and gave the crowd a show filled with some of his many hits.   The Renaissance was jammed packed and filled with music lovers who grooved to his soulful sound.  Thursday night held the first pre-party for the Chosen Few Festival.  Stan Zeff was the guest DJ at the Promontory Thursday Night.  Friday featured two Chosen Few Parties.  A day party with Ian Friday, James Vincent & Cordell Johnson at the Promontory and the Chosen Few DJs at the Mid Chicago that night. 

Day 1 of the Festival

My friend Alraynita and I got up early and headed over to the park by 5am. When we arrived, there was already a line.  These are the ones I call 1st responders! The ones, who arrive at the park early, bring everything but the kitchen sink and come with such great energy and excitement for the day.  We unloaded our fully packed SUV and joined everyone else in line.  Laughter, jokes, and reminiscing on past chosen few picnics were the topics of conversation.  As I spoke to people in line, I realized we all were there early for the same reason; we were setting up tents for our friends to join us in later. We were the hosts within the festival.  BBQ Grilling experts shared their favorite marinades and amateur bar stars shared their favorite cocktail recipes in line. We admired one another’s equipment and even shared where we bought some of the things that help transport all of our gear into the park easier.  Once the doors opened, we gathered our stuff and headed into the park to find the “perfect location” to set up.   Tent City was being built and we all looked like worker bees, setting up the perfect area for our friends to chill in later in the day.  Our “Black, White and Bling” tent was a success and we had friends join us throughout the day to relax, chat, eat and dance.  Day 1 of the festival was full of some of your favorite DJs and house music.  The Chosen Few DJs played throughout the day along with special guests, Steve “Silk Hurley”, DJ Spinna, Mike Risk, Steve Maxwell, Brian Frazier and Greg Gray.  A highlight of the day was a special live performance by Cece Peniston and Dajae, who belted out some of the songs we grew up dancing too.  Each DJ played Chicago classics and house tracks that kept the packed dance floor moving.   After the picnic ended, those who still had energy to burn joined the Chosen Few DJs with special guest, Teddy Douglas at The Renaissance Bronzeville. After being at the park for 18 hours, I was worn out and in need of a hot bath and some sleep because we were getting ready to do it all over again Sunday!

Annual Chosen Few Festival held in Jackson Park

Day 2 of the Festival

The Chosen Few added a 2nd day last year and this was my first year attending both days. I’m so glad I did. Sunday was perfect. The weather was sunny, the music was bananas and the vibe of the crowd was upbeat. We packed lighter for Sunday, just a tent, table and chairs. We decided not to cook and took the time to enjoy the many vendors that day for food!  It was a smaller crowd but the energy was just as high.  Sunday featured The Chosen Few DJs and special guests, Ron Trent, Sadar Bahar, Craig Loftis, Hula Mahone, Dee Jay Alicia, Big Al and Mike Boogie.  Legend, Donna McGhee blessed the stage with her classics such as “It ain’t no big thing”, “Love Bug” and “Everybody Dance”. She sounded absolutely amazing and was such a genuine and warm individual. House Music Queen, Monique Bingham also performed live and sang my some of my favorites!  She sounds just as good in person as she does on her tracks!   Sunday’s music was filled with variety.  Each DJ played sets that were true to their style and form and I was appreciative of the diversity in the musical selection. The Festival closed, appropriately, with an uplifting gospel house mix that truly summed up how I felt about this year’s festival…nothing but gratitude.  The Chosen Few DJs take it up a notch each and every year, making improvements and learning from the past.  Having a lineup for two days with mostly Chicago talent highlighted what I love about being a house loving fan from Chicago; this is the birthplace of house music and the talent in this city is unmatched.  The weekend closed with a finale party at Bassline featuring Chosen Few DJ, Terry Hunter, Greg Winfield and special guest, Recloose.  

Final Thoughts

I literally stayed in bed on Monday. My body needed a full day of rest after a week of non-stop partying and dancing but I have to say, I was not disappointed. This year’s festival lived up to all of my expectations.  We call it our “house holiday” and it really is. I reconnected with friends, saw people I hadn’t seen in years, danced until my feet hurt and enjoyed some of the best music by the best DJs.  It’s a shame this event wasn’t covered by many in the media. Two days of peace, love and music without one negative incident deserves to be celebrated, especially with all the negative news about Chicago in the news on a daily basis.  The cost of $25 a day ($40 if you didn't grab your early bird tickets) for 8+hours of music and fun is a deal you can't beat. There is no other festival in the country that offers what the Chosen Few Festival offers! I'm so happy I live here and can enjoy this year after year!  For the amount of music and talent I witnessed, it was worth the price of admission and more. It’s my favorite time of year and I can’t wait until next year!

Congratulations Chosen Few DJs for another year and another amazing festival! 

Until next time,

See you on a Dance Floor,

Black Widow

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Black Widow

D.Sanders, a Chicago native, is a devoted mother, blogger and writer who is passionate about her family, friends, women's rights, living authentically and telling her story.   She is also a spoken word recording artist under the name, Black Widow. She has been writing and blogging for over 15 years providing commentary and expressing thought on life, love and relationships. Her artistry can be heard on two house music singles, “Rough”, and “Gruv Me” released by Grammy Nominated Producer and CEO of T’s Box Records & T’s Crates, Terry Hunter under the production of Mike Dunn and Dee Jay Alicia. . Both singles reached #1 on Traxsource’s Afrohouse and charted top ten overall as well reaching the top ten in their year of release.  She splits her time blogging about the Chicago Dance Music Scene on www.blkwidowmusic.com and on her book’s website, www.thesumofmanythings.com.  She is excited about her debut book, The Sum of Many Things, scheduled for release in June 2017.   She wears many hats but refuses to be placed in a box.  She believes that women are "The Sum of Many Things".  Embracing all of her roles as a woman, she firmly believes in breaking free of preconceived notions of womanhood.   She believes it is her mission to define her own life experience, femininity and sexuality and not have it defined by society.  She openly shares her story with hopes that women understand their worth, power and place in this world.