Roger Taylor of Queen Announces Winners of Queen Extravaganza Competition
As reported earlier, Queen drummer Roger Taylor recently launched an international competition, the Queen Extravaganza Tour Talent Search, in an effort to assemble a Queen-sanctioned band that will hit the road in 2012.
“The Queen Extravaganza will not be a traditional tribute show,” Taylor says. “It’s a brand-new show specially designed to enable fans to celebrate the music of Queen in a heart-stopping event. It’s going to be spectacular. It’s going to be very visual, there are going to be some shocks and some tremendous surprises."
For 11 weeks, Taylor led his fellow judges, Spike Edney (Queen’s keyboard player since the mid-'80s) and Trip Khalaf (Queen’s sound engineer) in picking the musicians that will be featured on the tour.
“As the audition videos began posting, we could see right away that the caliber of talent was very high,” Taylor says. “But when I got into the studio with the final 25 musicians, I realized these guys are seriously good players. They went way beyond my expectations. It was an incredibly difficult decision to choose the final line-up. I wish I could've kept them all, but in the end, I'm very happy with this group of exceptional musicians."
Taylor will oversee the road show, taking the role of producer and music director, with guitarist Brian May involved later in the production.
The Queen Extravaganza band line-up will be:
Tristan Avakian of Toronto, Ontario (below) ...
... and Brian Gresh of Tulsa, Oklahoma (below).
Francois-Olivier Doyon of Quebec City, Quebec.
Jennifer Espinoza of San Antonio, Texas
Marc Martel of Montreal, Quebec, and Nashville, Tennessee
Tyler Warren of Camden, Tennessee.
“The Queen Extravaganza will not be a traditional tribute show,” Taylor says. “It’s a brand-new show specially designed to enable fans to celebrate the music of Queen in a heart-stopping event. It’s going to be spectacular. It’s going to be very visual, there are going to be some shocks and some tremendous surprises. It will be a rock celebration in the royal tradition."
It began on September 19, when Taylor launched a talent search via www.queenextravaganza.com to find players for a full band and several vocalists who could carry the tour.