It’s no secret that President Barack Obama has great taste in music. While most media attention has been focused on his more mainstream tastes (his iPod playlist was a big news story in 2008, featuring artists like Jay-Z and The Rolling Stones), the pres has always shown love to house music–the genre that was birthed in his hometown–and the artists that put Chicago on the dance map. In 2004, then a senator, Obama was a “driving force” in declaring an official “Frankie Knuckles Day“ in the city, and in April of last year he sent a moving letter to the friends and family of Knuckles upon news of the Godfather of House Music‘s death.
Now, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Chicago’s Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic, he recorded a video shout out to “all the house heads in Jackson Park.” The Chosen Few collective needs little introduction to most fans of house music: Started in 1977 as the “Chosen Few Disco Corp” by DJ Wayne Williams, the group has been influential worldwide featuring acts like Mike Dunn, Jesse Saunders, Frankie Knuckles, and Lil Louis. In 1990, Chosen Few threw a “reunion picnic” with less than 50 people that has now grown to an annual event drawing tens of thousands and often described as the “Woodstock of House Music.” This year’s celebration included performances by Masters At Work duo Louie Vega and Kenny Dope Gonzalez, Derrick Carter, and Stan Zeff, in addition to the usual Chosen Few collective acts Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, Tony Hatchett, and more. Check out Obama’s tribute below followed by an excerpt of DJ Alan King’s set from the Boiler Room: