From its humble beginnings as a small fundraising event in 1985, bringing in just $16,000 that first year, to a week of parties, events and fundraisers that brought in many millions of dollars last year alone, The White Party Week has cemented itself in activist history as perhaps the world’s best-known HIV/AIDS fundraiser. With a backdrop like the warm sands of Miami Beach, is it any doubt that they bill themselves as “the world’s sexiest” HIV/AIDS fundraiser?
This year will definitely not disappoint. Twelve major parties will be held from November 27 to December 2, all benefiting Care Resource, a primary care provider helping the LGBT community impacted by HIV/AIDS in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The signature White Party, which will be held on Saturday, November 30 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. at Soho Studios (2136 NW 1st Avenue, Miami), will feature world-renowned DJs Offer Nissim and Joe Gauthreaux as well as a live performance by Estonian singer Kerli.
Below are biographies of the three special guests who you will enjoy at the White Party.
Offer Nissim, originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, is a very popular DJ and producer, and is one of the most sought-after house music producers in the world. Starting his career in his native Israel, Nissim’s production and management made stars out of singers Dana International and Maya Simantov.
Dana International’s recording career was Offer Nissim’s first worldwide career achievement. He started producing her albums in 1993, when she was known only in Israel. Upon winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998, Dana International became the first transgender singer to have a #1 hit in multiple countries throughout the world. The song, “Diva,” was produced by Nissim. He produced her albums through the end of 1999 and still remixes tracks of hers today with her blessing. His second protégé, R&B singer Maya Simantov, has been produced and managed by Nissim ever since her career debut in 2004.
Nissim has not only remixed hits from singers such as Madonna, Mylene Farmer, Deborah Cox, Kristine W, and others, but he has also collaborated on a CD with such hitmakers as Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, and the late Donna Summer. He has also remixed songs from Israeli singers Ivri Lider and the late Ofra Haza.
In addition to Miami, he is a special guest DJ in various cities throughout the world, such as Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Montreal, Toronto and Paris.
Joe Gauthreaux is a native of Louisiana, where he started his career. First DJing at a Mardi Gras celebration in Baton Rouge, he moved on to become resident DJ at the New Orleans gay dance club Oz. He moved his base of operations to New York City, and since then he has become one of the reporters for Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play charts. His popularity skyrocketed when he moved to New York City, which allowed him to take his brand international. Out Magazine named him “The Hottest DJ of 2005.”
DJing at the White Party with Offer Nissim sounds like a perfect match, as both DJs are heavily influenced by tribal rhythms, in addition to melodic trance. He once described the kind of music he prefers to play as “music you’re more likely to hear during the peak hours of the night.” He credits his influences in the DJ world to Susan Morabito, Frankie Knuckles, Lydia Prim and David Morales.
Gauthreaux has performed as guest DJ across the United States and Canada and as far away as the Philippines.
Kerli (last name Kõiv) was born and raised in the town of Elva in southeastern Estonia. As a teenager, she entered many song festivals, including Melodifestivalen (Sweden’s Eurovision national selection) and Eesti Laul (Estonia’s Eurovision selection); out of all the festivals she attended, she only won one, and even then she was dropped from a promised recording contract. Before her big break, the Estonian press would refer to her name as a synonym for failure.
Kerli’s big break happened shortly after she moved to the United States in 2005 at the age of 18. The next year, L.A. Reid signed her to a contract at Island Def Jam Music Group. Her first album, Love is Dead (2008) spawned her first charting single in Europe, “Walking on Air.”
In 2010, she released her first single in the Estonian language, showing that she held no ill will to the media in her home country for the negative things they said about her previously. The same year, she started preparing her EP Utopia, which was finally released this year. In the interim, the singles “Army of Love” (2010) and “Zero Gravity” (2012) rose up the Hot Dance Club Play charts to #1 and #6, respectively. Her most recent single, “The Lucky Ones,” became her second song to top the dance charts.