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GoFundMe launched for Chicago house pioneer Jesse Saunders

The artist suffered from "a major stroke" in November 2022 and is now said to need "urgent" help with medical bills

  • 2 March 2024
GoFundMe launched for Chicago house pioneer Jesse Saunders

A fundraiser has been set up for Jesse Saunders to help the Chicago house pioneer's continued recovery after suffering a major stroke in 2022.

According to the GoFundMe page, The Chosen Few DJs member is currently in rehabilitation after being hospitalised following the stroke in November 2022, but is currently "non-vocal, getting fed through a tube and having difficulty walking" but has been "trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy."

The fundraiser, which has been organised by friend and Chicago house promoter Kirkland Townsend, will help to pay for Saunders' medical bills as he continues treatment.

The page continues to explain that Saunders recently "took a turn for the worse," after collapsing on the kitchen floor at his home.

"Right now, Jesse needs our help in a big way," the statement continues. "He is NOT in a good place--he cannot afford the care he needs in the rehab facility and is at risk of being released without further help."

It adds: "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. Let's all step up to get him the care he needs."

At the time of writing, the GoFundMe has managed to raise $25,000 of its $150,000 target — with many donators sharing messages such as, "Wishing a speedy recovery," with another person sharing: "I am a house head for life and Mr Saunders is partly responsible for that."

Saunders was a key member of collective The Chosen Few DJs, founded by Wayne Williams in 1977.

The group - made up of Tony Hatchett, Alan King and Andre Hatchett - celebrated Chicago house music, and expanded in 2006 with Terry Hunter and Mike Dunn in 2012.

After being exposed to the house scene by the music of Frankie Knuckles, Saunders decided to open one of Chicago's biggest nightclubs, Playground, in 1982.

Saunders is also best known for being the brains behind legendary house anthem 'On and On', along with Vince Lawrence — considered by many as being one of the founding tracks of the genre.

The pioneering muasician also created notable records such as 'Funk U Up', 'Real Love', 'Love Can't Turn Around' and 'Dum Dum'.

Donate to the GoFundMe page here.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

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