The second leg (catch the first, with Mike Dunn, The Black Madonna, DJ Hyperactive & more over here) of our Chicago double-header is extremely rare, and important: the only international Official Tribute to Frankie Knuckles, as approved by the Frankie Knuckles Foundation and his estate. The show will take place on March 31st, to mark the first anniversary of his passing, at the city's indefatigable Smart Bar, where Frankie held a residency since 1982 right up until 2014.
The four DJs on the night all have an intimate and intractable connection to Frankie. Elbert Philips, one of the Foundation's key figures and a DJ that Knuckles cited in 2002 as a "definite first-choice if I ever need to pass the torch," will warm up in the role he became accustomed to under the Godfather's tutelage. Then there's Alan King, one of longstanding collective The Chosen Few (alongside Mike Dunn, who will play on the 30th) and head producer/promoter of the annual namesake summer gathering, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Also performing will be Michael Serafini, encyclopaedic house guru and proprietor of Gramaphone Records; an environment which gave behind-the-counter experience to the likes of Ralphi Rosario, DJ Sneak, and Mark Farina amongst others. Another Chicago legend to cut their teeth at Gramaphone, and later go on to take up a Smart Bar residency, was Mr Derrick Carter: a long, longstanding BR fav and one of Frankie Knuckles's dearest friends. The broadcast will close with a final tag-team set with some as-yet-unrevealed surprises.
All manner of Chicago music royalty will be attendance to pay their respects to the Godfather of House. It's due to be a very, very special one.
For our in-depth feature on the challenges facing Chicago House, HEAD HERE.
For testimony from Smart Bar's proprietor, the chief of Frankie's estate, Alan King and many more, HEAD HERE.
You can donate to the Frankie Knuckles Foundation below: