WEHO TIMES has just learned that Jeffrey Sanker, the CEO and Founder of WHITE PARTY in Palm Springs and other circuit party events, has died today, Friday, May 28, 2021. The cause of death according to several sources is liver cancer. He was 65.
Tributes are starting to surface on social media.
“My #1 partner in crime” his friend Robbie Hawthorne wrote on his Facebook page with a photo of he and Sanker.
Several of Hawthorne’s friends responded with condolences.
“My friend…..endless moments of joy and adventures. 🙏🙏🙏 #forevergrateful,” posted his friend Chuck Alexander.
An email sent to WEHO TIMES by a source who wishes to remain anonymous reveals that Sanker had been sick for the past year and that he passed away at Cedars Sinai this afternoon with his mother and his sister by his side.
“Jeffrey was a long time friend. He was an iconic figure in gay history with his creation of the White Party,” friend John Duran, told WEHO TIMES after learning of his passing. “For many gay men, he created a space for gay men to find their tribe and sexuality. While had his critics, he loved his gay community and left a lasting mark. So many of us found a place to belong because of his vision”
There is a White Party event in Puerto Vallarta this weekend that will continue as planed.
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 was 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 was 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 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 worked with all of the hottest and trendiest venues and nightclubs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami.
Superstar entertainment became 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 had 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 featured high caliber DJs/producers, including: Dave Aude, the late Peter Rauhofer, Junior Vasquez, Victor Calderone, Freemasons, Manny Lehman, Rosabel and Tony Moran.
Jeffrey 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 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.
Our condolences to his family and friends.