Update: This article has been updated to reflect Mr. Sanker’s age of 65. Please note that WEHOville is experiencing heavy traffic and there may be problems posting comments. In addition, we will not be posting negative comments. Please be respectful.
Founder of White Party and Gay Icon Jeffrey Sanker passes earlier today after a long illness with liver cancer. It is reported his mother and sister were at his side.
The MIAMI HERALD dubbed him “the high priest of gay parties.” GENRE MAGAZINE lists him as “Circuit Master.” NEXT MAGAZINE describes him as “the sultan of soirees.” And CIRCUIT NOIZE MAGAZINE simply calls him “the man.” With every accolade, Jeffrey Sanker further solidifies his name as the premier producer of gay nightlife and entertainment.
In 2014 Jeffrey Sanker received a star on the famed “Palm Springs WALK OF STARS,” aptly placed on the S.E. corner on Palm Canyon Drive and the (very gay) Arenas Road!
Jeffrey Sanker is the founder of LA-based White Party Entertainment, Inc. and creator of such signature events as WHITE PARTY PALM SPRINGS; New Year’s Eve celebrations in Los Angeles, Miami & Rio de Janeiro and the One Mighty Party at Orlando’s Gay Days.
Sanker has been credited by the MIAMI HERALD as being “the father of the modern gay event party.” Nowhere is this more evident than with Sanker’s trademark extravaganza: White Party Palm Springs, which has evolved into the nation’s largest gay dance music festival, attracting more than 30,000 attendees from every corner of the globe.
Sanker’s passion for parties began during the early eighties in New York City. Working at such legendary locations as Studio 54, Palladium and Private Eyes, he fine-tuned his skills as a promoter and special event producer. He has hosted parties for numerous celebrities over the years.
Sanker moved to Los Angeles in 1987. His innovative technique of using landmark venues for trend-setting themed events was credited for breathing new life into the Los Angeles scene. Since then, he has worked with all of the hottest and trendiest venues and nightclubs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami.
Superstar entertainment has become a hallmark of Sanker events. Lady Gaga, Carmen Electra, Jennifer Lopez, Icona Pop, Kelis, Ke$ha, Deborah Cox, Boy George and Lisa Vanderpump, have all graced the stage at Sanker events. Over the years, Jeffrey has also helped launch the careers of hundreds of new and up & coming performers.
World-class DJs reign supreme over Sanker’s packed dance-floors as well. His events feature high caliber DJs/producers, including: Dave Aude, the late Peter Rauhofer, Junior Vasquez, Victor Calderone, Freemasons, Manny Lehman, Rosabel and Tony Moran.
Jeffrey has also helped ignite the careers of countless other rising-star DJs by giving them their first big break. This prompted NEXT Magazine to comment: “the two best friends a DJ can have are Madonna and Jeffrey Sanker.”
Sanker has proudly produced fundraising events on behalf of numerous charities and community organizations, including Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH), The Trevor Project, and Desert AIDS Project.
Text your messages to 310-733-7388.:
Brian Holt”. Hard to believe how quickly the world turns. ..I was one of the Jeffrey’s OG “White Party Boys”; helping to promote the first two events. The group of us would meet at his home and help sort flyers then go to all the bars in both LA and PS and hand them out at closing time. Jeffrey was without a doubt a controversial figure to some, but always kind and generous. He breathed new life into a community shook by the AIDS epidemic and reminded us all it was ok to have fun and most of all to DANCE!
Josh Kirwood: As a straight man who’s spend the last 20 years enjoying the circuit scene with my wife and beautiful gay friends I’ve witnessed an awe inspiring transformation of a culture and a people who have more confidence and sense of belonging than ever. Jeffrey was a major part of that transformation as he pushed forward a collective vision that gay men belong and have a reason to celebrate. We will never forget him.
Bobby Trendy: The community lost a trailblazer who brought folks from all over the world together at the annual White Party.
Councilmember John D’Amico : “Sending much love to his family and friends. Mr. Sanker helped our community live bigger-than-life lives through his world famous events bringing joy and fun and a sense of belonging to the LGBT community. I know my life is better for having known him and enjoying his events and I know thousands of others can say the same.”
Former Councilmember John Duran: “Jeffrey was a long time friend. He was an iconic figure in gay history with his creation of the White Party. for many gay men, he created a space for gay men to find their tribe and sexuality. While hie had his critics – he loved the gay community and left a lasting mark. So many of us found a place to belong because of his vision.”
David Wood: “Jeffrey perfected the circuit party.”
Enrique Cheng-Robles MD: Thank you Jeffrey for helping me on my coming out journey. Your warm embrace helped me immensely. May you rest in peace. xo
Larry Block: I am saddened to learn about the passing of Jeffrey Sanker. His life was legendary. Many will speak to his many contributions to our community but I’d like to speak to the kind neighbor and friend. Jeffrey was my next door neighbor on Huntley Drive for almost ten years. We both moved from New York about the same time and shared many good times. In fact it was Jeffrey who sat with me to help choose the name for the shop. After he said BlockParty was his choice among the finalists, we went with it. Our community has lost a leader, a legend and an icon.
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