A Night in Havana
Local California Steppin’ Promoters (JB Platinum Productions) served up a Red-Hot event treat for the home crowd, on the day after the Fourth of July. The 2nd Annual event was entitled “A Night in Havana Steppers' Dinner” and it brought out Steppers in Red & White fashions, which captured the attention of many of the other patrons and staff of event venue. Steppers were eloquently, handsomely, and sharply clad, but even they would have been forced to take second place in a beauty contest that evening. The decorating team for the promoters transformed the settings of the Coco Palms Restaurant in Pomona, California into a steamy Cuban-esque atmosphere. And then Mother Nature served up a warm, humid evening that would have had anyone wondering if they had taken a flight to the island for an evening of Steppin’.
As the sun set and the shadows crept across the valleys and slopes of those curvaceous and famous rolling California hills, the handsomely decorated event transformed into a near-dream of scenery. As the darkness spread and the city lights sprinkled across those rolling hills, the moon danced around the edges of tall palm trees and the sounds of smooth jazz and other Steppin’ favorites pounded the air. There are times in life, when some of the elements come together, at the right time, and in the right way, to create very memorable and lasting impressions for those who have the fortunate awareness and opportunity to participate in them. This event was one of those occasions.
During an after dinner interview, I had the opportunity to interview Jeff Warnick and Brian “Steppin B” Patterson about their collaboration (aka JB Platinum Productions). Steppin’ B, humorously, credited Jeff’s mom with the “J” portion – and, then, credited his own mother with the “B” portion of the combined name “JB”. It was Jeff Warnick, however, who articulated the mission of this promotion team… to produce upscale Steppin’ events that capture the rare and unique outdoor settings of the California and West Coast Steppin’ communities. They certainly picked the right night and the right venue to make an unmistakably and impressive impact on their guests.
When Phamily Steppers’ hosts its 3rd Annual Steppers’ Awards & Celebration, JB Platinum’s “A Night in Havana” is nearly certain to be in the running for Promoter of the Year. There are a few weekly Steppers Sets, and there are even a few monthly Steppers Sets offered by local promoters. This year, however, there appears to be a growing number of Annual Steppers events in upscale locations. This genre of events is quickly growing on the west coast. Coincidentally, there will be some stiff competition coming up this weekend – from Nikki Heidelberg and the promoters at “Steppin It Up” as they present their “Hot Summer Night Party” at the famous Skirball Cultural Center. THEN…. both of these events face the Class of 2013 Promoters of the Year currently occupied by Oakland California’s Damone Hodges and “Steppers Only” in their production of “Shades of Brown”; followed by the Inland Empire’s Denise Barrow and “A Step Ahead Entertainment” in their presentation of “The 7th Annual Harlem Nights Steppers Ball”; and then, Los Angeles’ Garry Fields of “Gentleman G Entertainment” will present his “Black Friday Steppers’ Ball.” There is BIG entertainment on tap for West Coast Steppers, because as JB Platinum says “we got more on the way…”
JB Platinum Productions has served notice on previous winners of the Steppers’ Awards – they are serious in the game. The venue and the view were spectacular, a three-course meal (even a great salad), complimentary Champagne, DJ’s Shermaxx and DJ Mike (both are past Steppers Award Winners), and … this event sold out! Not an empty seat in the house and they were force to turn away some people at the gates to the event. I can’t imagine an equivalent venue setting, so I don’t expect a change of venue for next year. Caveat Emptor – next year, get your tickets early.
Samuel L. Parker, Sr.
West Coast Report