No replacing Ninja Man - GT Taylor
By the time the 17th staging of the GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza takes place on the night of Christmas Day into the morning of Boxing Day, deejay Ninja Man might have known his sentence for murder.
The deejay is to be sentenced on December 15. Under different circumstances, he would be one of the artistes performing at the concert, which will be held at the Luana Sports Complex in Black River, St Elizabeth.
The event's organiser, GT Taylor, told The STAR that Ninja Man "was preparing for the event. I had him on the line-up." It would not have been Ninja Man's first Extravaganza showing, Taylor saying "he has been doing it for about eight, nine years in a row".
On November 20, Ninja Man, given name Desmond Ballentyne, was found guilty of murdering Ricardo 'Ricky Trooper' Johnson on March 17, 2009, as well as shooting with intent.
Also convicted of the murder were Ninja Man's son, Janiel, and Dennis Clayton.
Taylor said, "there is not a replacement for Ninja Man. You can't really replace an artiste. You can only put someone there who has his or her own style." Still, there is no expectation that Ninja Man's absence will severely impact audience support.
Slashing the line-up from up to 50 performers to about half that number, based on audience feedback that they wanted the quality of longer individual sets rather than quantity, Taylor said the line-up includes Sizzla, Sanchez, Beenie Man, Cocoa Tea, Half Pint, Tommy Lee, Masicka, Shenseea, Admiral Tibet, Jabez, D'Angel, Singer J, Laden, Professor Nuts, Deep Jahi, Rankin Pumpkin, and Lybran.
Masicka will perform before closing act Tommy Lee.
This is also based on audience feedback, Taylor said. The younger persons prefer to see artistes in their age range in Extravaganza's closing daylight hours.
"It is a restructuring and reorganising of the show," Taylor told THE STAR.