Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jazz in the Gardens Has Its Biggest Year Ever

More than 73,000 attended the recent Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) music festival as the City of Miami Gardens celebrated the festival's 11th anniversary on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, at Sun Life Stadium (347 Don Shula Dr, Miami Gardens, FL 33056). Once a festival of roughly 1,800 patrons in a corner of Sun Life Stadium's parking lot, JITG is now the fastest growing jazz and R&B music festival in the nation. 

Saturday's lineup showcased locals CriStyle Renae, Ronnie Vop, and April Raquel Kouture Funk, as well as the Jazz in the Gardens All Stars featuring Najee, Alex Bugnon, and Regina Belle; Average White Band; Michael McDonald; Kool & the Gang; and Charlie Wilson.  On Sunday, Fred Hammond,  Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Janelle Monae, Brian Culbertson, and Usher took to the stage. The host for the festival was comedian and nationally-syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley.  

Charlie Wilson
I'm a stickler for sound, and I can honestly say that JITG boasts some of the best outdoor sound systems I have ever heard. Just like Michael McDonald said, "It's the first time I ever had a mayor ask me to crank up the bass," and that they did for sure.  The music was superb throughout and all of the performers performed solid sets, from locals CriStyle Renae, Ronnie Vop, and April Raquel, who each had the stage to themselves to shine.  

They each showed that they have what it takes to take their careers to the next level. The Jazz in the Gardens All Stars featuring Najee, Alex Bugnon, and Regina Belle performed both as a group and individually, and all of the other headliners had the audience up on their feet dancing and singing along to countless hits. This audience knows the music and they definitely show their love for the artists.

Kool & The Gang
The 11th-annual Jazz in the Gardens was two days of delicious food, fun for all, and incredible live music. More the half of the audience in attendance at the Saturday show were from out of state, which pretty much says that JITG has gone national.  Who knows, maybe next year it will be a three-day event.

The City of Miami Gardens was born in 2003 and the then City Council sought to create a signature event for the largest predominantly African-American municipality in Florida, which is also the third largest in the United States. In 2006, the City of Miami Gardens presented the inaugural Jazz in the Gardens, an intimate jazz-only festival featuring food and music, setting the foundation for the decade-long, signature experience that followed, adding R&B to the lineup.

Average White Band
"This year's attendance was unprecedented, and our lineup of musical talent was second to none, a fitting tribute to our 10th year of producing an incredible festival experience," said City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. "This is our signature event and we are so proud that people from all over the world look forward to attending every year. "This is my fourth Jazz in the Gardens as mayor, but I’ve been to every Jazz in the Gardens," Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III tells us. "So many people put so much effort into this event... It started in a small parking lot in Sun Life Stadium for a few hundred local residents, and now people come from around the world."

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...