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Dance Music Evolution Symposium Press Release



Lehia Franklin Acox, LFA PR; 773-960-1908;


Charles Matlock, Modern Dance Music Research and Archive Foundation; 312-498-5152;





How Chicago made the world dance to a new beat


Foundation’s inaugural symposium explores global cultural impact of Chicago’s homegrown dance genre


February 18, 2014 (CHICAGO)—Thirty years after Chicago gave the world a new dance music beat, a symposium at Columbia College examines the origins, innovators and impact of house music. “Dance Music Evolution: The History of House Music in Chicago”, planned for Saturday February 22, 2014, 10 AM-10 PM, at Columbia College’s Stage Two, 618 South Michigan Avenue, will feature panel discussions, dance workshops, performances and live DJ demonstrations. The event is free and open to the public. An after party featuring symposium participants DJ Lori Branch and DJ Maurice Joshua will be held at Evil Olive night club, 1551 West Division Street, 10 PM- 3 AM (21+; free until 11 PM; $10 after).


Part of Columbia’s event series, B Real: A Look Inside Urban Movements, the symposium is sponsored by the Modern Dance Music Research and Archiving Foundation (MDMRAF), in collaboration with Columbia College Chicago’s Radio and Dance departments, as well as Honey Pot Performance.


Featured speakers and performers include ground-breaking club owner, Robert Williams; four-time Grammy Award nominee producer and DJ, Steve “Silk” Hurley; Grammy-winning producer and DJ, Maurice Joshua; pioneering DJ, Lori Branch; Micah Salkind, black music scholar, DJ and sound designer; Dwayne Woods, sound engineer for seminal Chicago house events; Byron Stingily, former vocalist for influential house music band, Ten City; dancer, educator and activist, Boogie McLarin; City Colleges of Chicago instructors, Kelsa Robinson MA, and Meida McNeal, PhD; and Charles Matlock, DJ, entertainment attorney, Columbia College professor and executive director, MDMRAF.


“The symposium provides a platform for an academic and cultural discussion about Chicago house music and its evolution from a local underground scene—created as a form of self-expression by marginalized people of color—to a global force with tremendous cultural and commercial impact,” says Matlock. “Hosting this event is part of our foundation’s mission: to preserve, document and present modern dance music and its impact here at home and around the world.”


House music traces its origins to Chicago’s black, gay, underground club scene of the mid and late 1970s, where DJs enthralled patrons by fusing together disco, funk, European electro and other music in live mixes, edits and original tracks. The sound spread to larger, more mainstream crowds as black and Latino Chicago youth embraced it in the early 1980s, giving rise to new music and record labels, iconic parties and clubs and vibrant cultural scenes. By the end of the decade, the music had exploded internationally, and has since inspired and influenced countless sub-genres, including electronic dance music (EDM).


About the Modern Dance Music Research and Archiving Foundation

Founded in Chicago in 2013, the Modern Dance Music Research and Archiving Foundation’s mission is to preserve and document the phenomenon of dance music from circa 1970 through modern day and to highlight the significance of this genre of music. This not-for-profit organization exists to educate the public and encourage study of this art form and its effects on popular culture. The foundation archives and digitizes memorabilia, music and materials, documents the contributions of house music innovators and influencers and hosts events, exhibits and other presentations, including an exhibit in conjunction with Northwestern University scheduled for Summer 2014. Learn more at, Facebook and YouTube.

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