House pioneer Frankie Knuckles chatted to Skrufff this week about his role in Chicagos first officially sanctioned dance music festival Move! And revealed that the event is closely tied to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daleys decision to honour him in 2004.
The event was born off the back of the City holding Frankie Knuckles Day and naming a street after me (Frankie Knuckles Way), he said, My official involvement is just that Im one of the headlining DJs, but my unofficial role is that I act like the ambassador, They relied on me quite a lot to get all the right people involved, because theyve not done it before.
The two day long Chicago International House Music Event includes DJ sets from Steve Silk Hurley, Derrick Carter, Danny Tenaglia and David Morales with performances from Barbara Tucker and Jocelyn Brown and is being co-produced by Frankies brother Frederic Dunton. Frankie also stressed he sees no particular significance in the event happening this year, with respect to the overall health of the house scene.
I dont look at the whole house music scene the way everybody else does. No disrespect ,but journalists and people in the media always see it as a black and white issue. Theyre all like its here today, its gone tomorrow, its happening; its not happening. At the same time you people keep forgetting there are people who have been working in this particular business a very long time, like myself And Im still out here working and Im still viable within the industry, he complained.
It takes something like this festival to make everybody prick up their ears and go so you mean house music is still happening?. To me, thats a disservice, house hasnt gone anywhere, it hasnt disappeared, theres still a healthy scene.
Frankie also said he remains thrilled about having a street named after him and said he regularly takes pals there to see for themselves.
One of my favourite restaurants to go and have breakfast in, in Chicago, sits right on the corner, and though I dont eat at this restaurant all the time when Im home if friends visit me then the first thing they always want to see is Frankie Knuckles Way, he laughed, So I take them for breakfast there and they can look at the street sign. Im honoured to have it.
The Chicago International House Music Event is on Saturday July 22 and Sunday July 23 at the brand new outdoor venue Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island.
Jonty Skrufff (JontySkrufff.com)