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DJ festival features house music

Saturday, June 30, 2012

DJ Terry Hunter spins some of the classic dance music that gets a crowd at 63rd and Hayes in Jackson Park on the South Side, moving.

At least 30,000 people are expected Saturday, July 7 for the annual Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic.

It's an all-day festival of house music, dance music engineered by local DJs in the 1970s and '80s, who mixed disco with many genres of music.

Six of those DJs, known as the Chosen Few, will each take the stage.

"For me to play a classic record, a new record that has a song that has a melody in front of 30-40,000 people, it's the biggest high in the world," Hunter said.

The Chosen Few DJs started the picnic in 1990 as a small gathering of family and friends.

Since then, it's grown to what some call the Woodstock of House Music, all without any major publicity.

Despite its size, it still retains a family reunion atmosphere.

"It's all organic," said Hunter. "It's by the love of the music word of mouth and people talking about it and spreading the word."

"People come in from all over the country, foreign countries, and it's really pretty amazing," said DJ Alan King. "People schedule their vacations around it and it's a spectacular thing."

House music has become a broad term for dance music that's evolved throughout the years.

But it's still sought out by passionate fans who say they connect to it on an emotional level.

"It's come to mean so many different things for different people," King said. "You can have two people having a conversation about house music and they're talking about two entirely different things."

"For people who really get it, it's almost spiritual."

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