ENGLEWOOD — South Side organizers have launched a monthly series of food, fun, and live music spun by Chicago’s finest DJs.
Vinyl & Vittles, a record fair and food market collective, debuts 12-5 p.m. Sunday at the Englewood Village Plaza, 5800 S. Halsted St. Monthly events are scheduled for the same time and place July 10, Aug. 7, Sept. 11 and Oct. 2.
Neighbors can visit the fair to purchase vinyl from local sellers like Shady Rest Vintage & Vinyl and enjoy food from small, beloved businesses like Doughboy’s Chicago. A slate of DJs will perform, including DJ Erica Kane, DJ Mikey Mike and DJ Shon Dervis.
Erik Jones, founder of Sound Voyage, a brand that showcases Chicago’s rising musicians, partnered with leaders at Grow Greater Englewood and DJ Jamal “Jaytoo” Jeffries to bring the vinyl extravaganza to the South Side.
Jones said Vinyl & Vittles was created to bring the community together. He hopes the event helps neighbors reminisce about the joyful moments of putting a record on in their grandparents’ basement and encourages new listeners to give a pastime love a try.
“We want to make it a fun time and an opportunity to shop beyond just records,” Jones said. “We want people to enjoy themselves, even if they don’t own a record player.”
Lavoy “DJ INC’ McConnell will play a set of slick Hip Hop, old-school R&B, Disco, and Soul Sunday. The goal is to curate music that will inspire “good times and positive feelings,” he said.
“When I was young, I remember what was being played at the block party,” McConnell said. “I hope I can play that kind of music and pass it along to a new generation of listeners.”
Marc Davis, founder of Black Pegasus Records, will have a booth with records ranging from Jazz and Funk to Disco and Hip-Hop.
Most people listen to music digitally these days, but there’s nothing quite like the “essence of the sound of vinyl,” he said.
“Artists today can’t even sign an autograph because there’s nothing to sign,” Davis said. “It’s like reading a book. You can read it on your Kindle, but there’s nothing like having a book in your hand.”
But even if he doesn’t sell one record, he’s happy to see his community unite for music, a “universal language,” he said.
“I’m happy to be out there, interacting with the community,” Davis said. “This event was put together by people with good energy and high vibrations. I think this is something that needs to be seen and heard.”
Organizers insisted on South Side DJs and vendors, Jeffries said.
“We have to root for the home team because we need each other,” Jeffries said. “People were able to stay alive over the last couple of years by working with each other. We’re keeping that vibe rolling.”
It was also critical to host the event in Englewood to remind neighbors of their history, Jeffries said. Vinyl is a “Black artifact,” he said.
“We see a tremendous amount of our artifacts leave out of the community, go other places and fund other people,” Jeffries said. “We want to bring some of that back to the source, too.”
Vinyl & Vittles will help people bond over music and food, said Tanya Ward, cultural steward at Grow Greater Englewood.
“This event is all about building a vibe and making it a destination where folks can come not far from home, have a good time and discover new things,” Ward said. “We want to connect the gaps between the young and the old with the vinyl, and connect people with local growers and good food.”
Jones said he hopes the events give neighbors something to look forward to all summer.
“We want Englewood to feel empowered to know that events are happening throughout their community this summer,” Jones said. “We wanted to have a fun community event that creates a consistent opportunity for people to enjoy themselves.”
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