Gospel extravaganza set

One of contemporary gospel music’s most popular artistes is due to take to the stage this Saturday when the year’s first gospel extravaganza, dubbed ‘Jesus is my Daddy-oh’, takes place at the Lions Centre, from 7pm.

The concert takes its billing from the hit song of Nicholas Eccleston, better known as DJ Nicholas, one of the Caribbean gospel music’s newest sensations, who will be the headline act. He will share the stage with Isabell Blagrove, whose handicap as a partially blind singer has not stopped her churning out mega hits. One of her most memorable is the song, ‘My God is Real’.

Nicholas Eccleston

Nicholas Eccleston, popularly known as DJ Nicholas, will perform at Saturdays gospel extravaganza, Jesus is my daddy-oh, at the Lions Centre. Photo: Submitted

The concert will also feature the Puppet Ministry of the New Testament Church of God, Mr. Gallimore and Chane Watt, a teenager with a voice that belies her years.

‘This concert comes as a result of many requests from lovers of top quality gospel music for these artistes to perform here in Cayman,’ Karen Chin, organizer of the event said. ‘These artistes are at the peak of their performance and they have been inspiring audiences in Jamaica and the Caribbean with their ministry in music. They will raise the standard of performances in the Cayman Islands and I am sure gospel music lovers will be thrilled.’

From being a ‘nameless’ Rastafarian who produced dub plates for sound systems in Kingston Jamaica where he was born and raised, DJ Nicholas began searching for his true spiritual identity and to reconcile his faith with the Christian traditions his parents had taught him.

He found Jesus in a study of the Bible, renounced his Rastafarian faith and was baptized at a church crusade at the New Life Assembly of God in Kingston. With his conversion came the passion to pursue gospel music.

His debut album, ‘On the Shout’, with the hit song, ‘Where the God man deh’, signalled the arrival of DJ Nicholas’s star power in gospel music.

He has been on stage with some of the big names in Caribbean and international gospel music including Chevelle Franklyn, Robert and Jeneve Bailey, CeCe Winans and Kirk Franklin and has performed throughout the Caribbean, Canada, US and the UK.

DJ Nicholas comes to Cayman fresh from winning the Artist of the Year Award and the New Artist of the Year Award at the recently held Maja (Gospel Music) Awards 2006 in Kingston, Jamaica. He was also one of the contenders for Album of the Year for ‘On the Shout.’

The 27-year-old was tied for the top nomination spot for this year’s Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards 2006 and also won New Artist of the Year and Duo of the Year for the hit song, ‘Holy Ghost Church’.

Isabell Blagrove, who is partially blind, says she started singing from age two. Before being saved nearly 14 years ago, she was often on the dancehall/stage show circuit singing and displaying her talent. She even participated in Jamaica’s Teen Star Search in 1990.

Once she decided to dedicate herself to being a Christian, she began focusing on her singing career, using it as part of her outreach.

‘My ministry is really to win souls for God. I see my singing as part of this ministry, not for entertainment,’ she said.

Isabell performed in Cayman in 2004 and said she is looking forward to being back.

‘I want to deliver something special at this concert and patrons can come out expecting it. They will not be disappointed.’

Tickets for the concert are on sale at Funky Tangs, Kirk Office Equipment, Christian Enlightenment Centre, Corner Restaurant and Reflections. Admission is $15 prepaid, $20 at the gate, Admission for children under 12 is $10 at the gate.