Derrick Carter is widely acknowledged as one of the better DJs of the world. With innovative productions, flawless technical skills and an effortlessly joyful attitude of rocking a crowd, his influence has infiltrated throughout the spectrum of dance music. Although known as one of the key players of Chicago’s house music wave in the ’90s, Derrick began DJ’ing at the age of nine, spinning disco and funk records at family reunions. he freely travels outside standard club tastes, incorporating old-school disco, soul, jazz, new wave, and whatever else catches his fancy.
Harry Cross is the co-founder and resident DJ of the underground Femme’s Room and Men’s Room Chicago parties in Chicago, IL. In 2014, he released his first remix of Shaun J. Wright and Alinka’s “Love Songs” on the Twirl Records label. His weekly functions at bathhouses and leather bars influence his multi-genre yet always sexy vibe.
Chicago’s Garrett David has quickly made a name for himself as a producer and DJ. Also known for his collaboration with Adam Rowe, the Bell Boys. His work pushes the boundaries of Chicago house while staying true to its legacy. Garrett has been an employee at the legendary Gramaphone Records for well over a decade, and has even started his own labels Stripped & Chewed and Night Sea Journey. His musical output has been prolific, appearing on labels like Lobster Theremin, Balance, and Residual. You can find Garrett on Sundays at Queen! alongside Michael Serafini and Derrick Carter.
Chicago’s Jeff Derringer is a staple of the American Techno scene, and one of its most respected producers. As a resident at Smartbar, Jeff presides over Oktave, his home-grown techno night focusing on the best and brightest international talent.
Jeff continues to teach at Columbia College Chicago, where he is an adjunct professor in the music department. Jeff’s classes focus on digital production techniques, helping to unlock the talents of a new generation of artists. Showing them the way with affordable tools and a DIY mindset, Jeff hopes to have a lasting impact on the lives of the next wave of underground talent in Chicago.
Dj Heather’s interest in music was sparked by her own parents’ eclectic record collection and then nourished by her own discoveries. Heavily influenced by the burgeoning waves of industrial, alternative, rap, and house she began to explore the art of deejaying. Attempting to replicate what she heard at underground events, clubs and radio.
With various collaborations alongside Brett Johnson, Derrick Carter, Johnny Fiasco amongst others, licensed mixed compilations for Afterhours, Fabric, Om, Nordic Trax. Releases on Aroma, Classic, Seasons, and 20/20 Vision to name a few. Her own labels Blackcherry Recordings, newly minted Apollo Music Group beside Dan X and Lil Mark; in addition to 20 plus years of extensive touring she continues to be a champion of a brand of house Chicago is known for. Lake Effect: Simply defined as the phenomena created in a surrounding area. That is the essence of Chicago house and its influence globally as well.
Justin Aulis Long
Chicago native Justin Aulis Long discovered his fascination for uncanny music at an early age when his mother entrusted him with her record collection that spanned from UK punk to American dance. This served as a gateway, stimulating his journey into the sonic vortex. As a child of Medusa’s on Sheffield, Long gained a higher level of musical education. His weekly pilgrimages to this venue’s all-ages hedonistic dance parties supplied a compelling musical concoction of acid house, UK bleep, industrial and new wave. Possessed by these unorthodox forms of music, Long purchased his first set of turntables and began to collect 12-inch singles from local record shops. Though his intentions were solely to pander to his musical appetite in the privacy of his bedroom, this acquisition proved to be the genesis of a voyage that continues to present him with new challenges that are met with an unforgiving dogmatic approach.
Serafini first got his start in Chicago nightlife in the 80’s working for Berlin nightclub as a video jockey and remixer. Under the mentorship of close friends Terri Bristol and Ralphi Rosario, Michael began deejaying regularly in the early 90’s. Shortly after, he took up a position at one of Chicago house’s most famous institutions, Gramaphone Records. As his experience grew, so did his reputation, later landing a residency at Boom Boom Room, then the city’s longest running and well known house night. In 2007, Serafini took over ownership of Gramaphone Records which he still operates today. His current residency is for the weekly Sunday party, Queen! along with Garret David and Derrick Carter.
When traveling into the sonic abyss, there are few pilots that traverse its multifarious terrain with such precision and spontaneity as Sevron. With an impetus on technique and selection, they masterfully juxtapose musical elements from across a wide range of traditions and histories, fusing them into a singular language that is sublime, euphoric, psychedelic, and enigmatic.
As a formative figure in the 3rd wave of the Chicago DIY scene and a continuous advocate for the future development of the community and its gatherings, Sevron is positioned as an ambassador for the Midwest’s dance music soundscape. Through diverse experiences, enthusiastic and careful curation of records, and honest love for the craft, Sevron has a singular voice they are driven to share.
Phillip Stone comes from the outskirts of Chicago, where he had an early exposure as a teenager to the Midwestern Rave scene. Those experiences along with getting into the vinyl culture at an early age influenced him to explore deeper. One thing led to another and a hobby turned into something more. He made a name for himself by opening for artists from all over in key downtown clubs & underground venues, as well as many after-hour parties. He has a passion and love for sharing this music, and his personal edits have been played by many big artists. Look out for this Chicago resident in pursuit to educate and expand your mind.
Shaun J Wright
Born and raised in West suburban Chicagoland, Shaun J. Wright spent most of his teen years immersed in the sounds of house music. His love for dance music expanded throughout his high school years as he partook in the underground dance scene now globally known as Juke. While in undergrad at Morehouse College in Atlanta, he developed his skills as a dancer/voguer in professional dance companies and the ballroom scene. After acquiring an MA Fashion Curation, from the London College of Fashion, Wright enjoyed an active career in fashion in New York City. That is where he met Andrew Butler, founder of Hercules and Love Affair, and began a whirlwind collaboration with the ensemble as a vocalist. Currently, Wright is exhilarating dance floors worldwide as a dj and is featured on several acclaimed releases with Stereogamous, Bell Boys, Bobmo, Kiki, Alinka, and System of Survival with more stellar collaborations on the horizon. Catch Shaun for his “What It Is…” night for some deep and highly danceable tunes.
Ariel Zetina is a Chicago based artist, focusing in music production and deejaying. Though her music can be considered techno, she takes inspiration from Chicago house, Belizean genres punta and brukdown, and the queer club scene worldwide. These influences can be heard at her night, Diamond Formation, on tracks released by Club Chai, Knightwerk, Majía, Materia, & Sweat Equity; and on mixes for Rinse FM, Discwoman, Astral Plane, Red Bull Radio, and NTS. She is a playwright and poet, and is currently working on a commission for The House Theatre of Chicago and a score for her play Pink Milk for an upcoming Baltimore production.