Fundraiser for Chicago house pioneer Jesse Saunders’ medical care launched

Fundraiser for Chicago house pioneer Jesse Saunders’ medical care launched

A fundraiser has been launched to support the medical care of pioneering Chicago house artist Jesse Saunders.

Saunders suffered “a major stroke” in November 2022. According to the new GoFundMe page, “since then, he has been hospitalized, then in rehab, non-vocal, getting fed through a tube, his walk staggers, and he had been trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy.”

His health also recently “took a turn for the worse” when he collapsed on the kitchen floor at home.

Organised by Kirkland Townsend, the “urgent” GoFundMe is seeking to raise money to fund the “care he needs in the rehab facility.” He is currently at risk of being released without further help. “This is an urgent matter, as he will be evicted from the care facility by the end of this month, if we cannot get him the funds to maintain his care,” wrote Townsend.

The fundraiser is set at a $150,000 goal. Go here to donate.

Born and raised in the south side of Chicago, Saunders was part of the Chosen Few DJs collective (originally known as Chosen Few Disco Corp), who were founded in 1977 by Wayne Williams.

As an artist, he blazed a trail for loops and repetition using his turntable techniques and in 1982 opened his own nightclub in Chicago, a key incubator for house music, The Playground.

Saunders logged a slew of his signature tunes during the mid-1980s, including ‘Funk U Up,’ ‘Undercover’ and ‘On & On’, which is  considered by many to be the first house record.

Listen to ‘On & On’ below

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