GT's Extravaganza soldiers onSaturday, November 07, 2015
With seven weeks to go before Christmas, GT Taylor has donned his promoter's hat for the annual show that bears his name.
The Boom GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza takes place on Christmas Day at Independence Park in Black River, St Elizabeth. For its 15th staging, the popular disc jockey is adding a sound system flavour to one of the South Coast's calendar events.
While the Ruff Kut Band are down to back most of the artistes on the show, Taylor said some performers will share the spotlight with Bass Odyssey, Renaissance, Digital Chris and his GT Aggregation sound systems.
"We're looking at where the music is coming from and where its going. In the height of the juggling an artiste will perform with the selector; it will have a party vibe, just like the old days," he told the Sunday Observer.
Over 25 artistes have been confirmed for 'Extravaganza' including perennial favourites Sizzla, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Ninja Man and Cocoa Tea. Popcaan, Freddie McGregor, Ken Boothe, Bugle, Vershon and Eek-A-Mouse are also on the bill.
Taylor, who started the show as a party for friends in 2000, said economics influenced his decision to include sound systems this year. Even though he has a title sponsor in energy drink Boom, it has not been easy picking up financial support from other sources.
"Everything has gone up in terms of putting on a show like this and we get no help from the South Coast Resort Board or Jamaica Tourist Board. After 15 years an event of this magnitude should get some recognition," he said.
The Yuletide season had its share of live shows in 2000 when Taylor first held the Christmas Extravaganza party at Hendricks Wharf, also in Black River.
Rising artiste fees and production costs have put many of those events out of business. 'Extravaganza' and Sting which is held on Boxing Day, are among the high-profile survivors.
Taylor is president of the Black River Chamber of Commerce and a member of the St Elizabeth Care Committee. He said this year's show will again benefit a local charity.
-- Howard Campbell