House music, an American underground phenomenon in the '80s, has become a worldwide institution since its inception in seedy warehouses in urban Chicago. One of the key innovators responsible for staking house's substantial claim on the global music landscape is Chicago legend Derrick Carter, whose first experience as a DJ came at the very young age of nine, when he would play at weddings and other family gatherings. As the Windy City's vibrant dance scene became more popular in the mid-'80s, Carter was sucked right in and sought DJ gigs wherever he could find them. He also started producing his own tracks with other house luminaries, such as Mark Farina. After waning a bit toward the end of that decade, Chicago house made a comeback in a big way during the '90s, and Carter was right at the forefront with his label, Blue Cucaracha. His reputation was solidified in the U.K., where critical acclaim was in no short supply for his DJ sets, his work for Blue Cucaracha and, more recently, his newer imprint, Classic. This same adulation has brought big-time pop stars knocking at his door looking for remix work, but in an admirable and rare move of professional integrity, he has declined any such collaboration in favor of keeping his work pure and undiluted. While primarily rooted in pure house, Carter's sets have been known to incorporate some old-school disco, soul and jazz. Carter will be dropping his brand of Chicago House at The Church this Thursday, July 15th.