Taylor launched the online search in September, saying the winners would participate in “The Queen Extravaganza Tour” planned for 2012. By the end of November he had paired the entries down to under 30 finalists. Now he has six winners covering vocals, guitars and drums.
Selected during the final round of competition that took place in Los Angeles earlier this week are vocalists Jennifer Espinoza from San Antonio, Texas, and Marc Martel from Montreal, Quebec; guitarists Tristan Avakian from Toronto and Brian Gersh from Tulsa, Okla., bassist Francois-Olivier Doyon from Quebec City and drummer Tyler Warren.
The upcoming tour has stage designer Mark Fisher (U2, AC/DC, Muse, The Rolling Stones, Cirque du Soleil) and lighting designer Rob Sinclair (Adele, Vampire Weekend, Goldfrapp, Peter Gabriel) on board.
“As the audition videos began posting, we could see right away that the caliber of talent was very high,” Taylor said when he announced the winners. “But when I got into the studio with the final 25 musicians, I realized that these guys are seriously good players. They went away beyond my expectations. It was an incredible decision to choose the final lineup. I wish I could’ve kept them all, but in the end, I’m very happy with this group of exceptional musicians.”
Dates for “The Queen Extravaganza Tour” have not yet been announced. Check out the winners' second audition videos embedded below and then click here for the tour’s website.