@ The Gaiety, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
7 May 2008
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Rob ‘Zi’ Taylor, is described by some as the Caribbean's Kenny G but with a funkier edge. As he lives and works mostly in the Caribbean he has soaked up much of what the Caribbean has to offer musically.
‘Zi’ (his preferred name) has shared stages with artists such as Shaggy, Fanatsia, Maxi Priest, Jimmy Cliff, Dave Koz and Morgan Heritage. He has performed on the Reggae Blitz US tour with Ky-mani Marley (son of Bob Marley) as well as Maxi Priest, Toots and the Maytals and Andrew Tosh. Zi has also performed at venues such as Reggae on the River, Universal Studios in Hollywood, Wolftrap, House of Blues in Chicago and Orlando to name a few. He dazzled patrons when playing on the Pigeon Island main stage at the 2005 St. Lucia Jazz Festival; the main stage at the 2006 Vincey Blues Fest and the VP Records sponsored Xmas Jump Off Concert Freedom Project (featuring Bushman and Mya).
Taylor is currently working with his smooth island group ‘Solefood’, promoting his debut album “ Rise Up” and composing new material. He is still a popular performer at major events throughout the island such as the 2007 Cricket World Cup and the 16th Annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival. He is also busy spinning Jazzy grooves on his own live radio show on St. Lucia’s Rhythm FM.
‘Zi’ Taylor’s stage was set up within the Gaiety grounds, outside the main building. This should have been a great start to an evening menu of soul, jazz and funk. With Maceo Parker scheduled to perform on the indoor stage later, patrons where ready, willing and able to get down, and get funky. Unfortunately Taylor was besieged with sound problems and abysmal lighting, however Taylor and his reliable band persevered. Teddyson John’s soulful vocals where a welcome treat amongst the feedback and Taylor’s sweet sax solo’s did eventually ‘rise up’ above the badly mixed set.
“This gig was extremely important to me, I really wanted to give it my all!” Taylor confessed to me afterwards. I am sure next time he will be given the opportunity to ‘give his all’. (Providing the set up is right).
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.