Every fourth Saturday of the month, Atlanta is blessed with house music greatness from Chicago. At Wild Pitch Underground, located at 255 Trinity Ave SW in south downtown, Miko Jones hosts one of the best dance parties in town.
“I am a house fanatic from Chicago,” explains Jones. “I’ve been dancing to house music since I was 14 years old. It’s like a melodious sound that connects us all–I’ve met so many people through it. I think house music in Atlanta is love.” Jones is a part of Chosen Life ATL, the city’s chapter of Chicago-based DJ collective Chosen Few Djs.
Chosen Few are a group of house music DJs that formed in 1977 by founder Wayne Williams. Jesse Saunders, Andre Hatchett and Tony Hachett were additions to the collective shortly after it formed–providing Chicago’s south side with a signature underground dance sound that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the world: house music.
Since 1990, Chosen Few has hosted a music festival in Chicago held in July–think “House In The Park” that’s held here in Grant Park but three times that ever-growing crowd. It’s annual gathering is the world’s longest running event dedicated to house music, clocking in at 12 hours of performances by the Chosen Few DJs and guest DJs and vocalists.
These big names like Alan King, Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, and James Hunter come to town each month to play at least a two-hour set after being warmed up by a local. June’s event featured local was Tocayo, whom you can find at Alley Cat Music Club when he’s not guest starring at Wild Pitch.
The owner of Wild Pitch Music Hall is also a music legend himself: Chicago born, Atlanta-based DJ Pierre. Pierre is a pioneer of acid house music and co-founded the group Phuture in 1985. Since 2016, Pierre and his wife, Andrea, have hosted techno and house legends at this artist-owned venue while fostering new talent as well.
But this is not the usual dubstep, hip hop or trap party: sometimes a live drumming session can break out in the evening. “Normally, there is someone that comes around to play his drum with the music. Saturday was special because my friend brought a guy who had just come from an African drumming session and he was doing a great job of staying on beat.”
“Some people don’t know we’re here, “Jones explained. “These events started out years ago in Chicago with a small crowd of a hundred people. Now, it’s huge. People from Europe, Japan—all over the world—are showing up!” The annual Picnic & Festival in Jackson Park, IL, draws a crowd that is “much, much bigger than House In The Park here in Atlanta.” It’s Jones’ hope that Atlanta can grow as big a house music scene here.
The next event will be on Saturday, July 28th. Featured artists will be DJ Tony Hatchett and Gary Wallace. Doors open at 10 pm. with a $5 cover before 11 pm. Paid parking is available next to Wild Pitch Underground.
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