Spend five minutes talking with club promoter Jason Jordan, and it's apparent that he's comfortable with big ideas – because he's passionate about giving something back to the community that inspired him.
“I enjoy seeing people coming together under one roof and enjoying themselves – I thought, 'Maybe if I facilitate that, that'd be good.' It may not be good for me, but good for the people,” said Jordan. “I always mention on my flyers, 'Come celebrate life' – every day you're living is a celebration of life.”
Jordan kicked off the summer season with his TURNT UP Friday (June 6), and his TGIF Thank God It's Friday) parties (June 27)– which featured DJ McMane, while VH-1's hip-hop reality couple, Stevie J and Joseline appeared at the latter event.
From Jordan's standpoint, both events will kick-start what he envisions as a bigger, bolder calendar.
“A lot of people want to have fun in Michiana, but there's not too many places, you know what I'm saying?” said Jordan. “Michiana's a great place – downtown Club Fever is the best area, because downtown is a central location. It's a real big spot. You don't have to be cooped up to move around.”
Jordan has the experience to back up his ideas, having promoted 20 parties to packed crowds in the past year. He hopes the momentum will lead to promoting concerts through his company, J-Jo Entertainment.
“When you're younger, it's hard to value as much, because you haven't been through a lot of things – they need someone to bridge the gap. When you start looking at life like it's 'the most valuable possession I own,' you're going to set yourself up to be successful.”
When he's not promoting, Jordan splits his time between coaching the True Soldiers Basketball program, and Made Men, a mentoring organization that focuses on teaching positive moral values to middle and high school age students.
“As men, we value our life, right? When you're younger, it's hard to value as much, because you haven't been through a lot of things – they need someone to bridge the gap,” said Jordan. “When you start looking at life like it's 'the most valuable possession I own,' you're going to set yourself up to be successful.”
Jordan has plenty of life inspiration to drive his events and outreach to local youth, as well. “Long story short, I grew up in the streets – I've done everything under the sun,” said Jordan. “I got out (of the criminal life) when I was 22. I'm 29 now. I haven't been in trouble since.”
After his 2008 release, Jordan went back to school, and played junior college basketball in Illinois – which helped him land a full ride scholarship in Hawaii.
Though Jordan could have stayed two more years, he eventually came home to care for his sick mother and raise his two-year-old daughter.
“The other reason was to be here for my community, doing what I'm doing now. My true calling and destiny was to give back to my community, and help guide them toward another positive route – instead of the negative route,” he said.
Whatever he does next, Jordan promises that future events won't stray from the ideals he wants to establish. “When you're coming together, hearing music under one roof, in a nice environment – you're connecting with people you haven't seen in a long time. It's a positive vibe. I like producing that and seeing people enjoying themselves – because, growing up, I've seen too much (of) the opposite,” he said.