Sunday, March 22, 2015


Jazz Chill attended the 10th Annual Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival on Saturday, March 21, in Miami Gardens, Florida.  A sold out crowd attended the festival on this beautiful sunny day at Sun Life Stadium. Day one of this two day event was headlined by Sheila E., Men of Soul featuring Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson, and Peabo Bryson, Toni Braxton, and R. Kelly. Two local acts, Karina Iglesias and John Erinosho opened the show. The master of ceremonies throughout the evening was comedian, D. L. Hughley.

Jazz Chill had the pleasure of interviewing Voice-alumni, Karina Iglesias. Miami-born of Honduran parents, Karina was selected to be a contestant on NBCs The Voice in 2013. Her epic performance of "It's a Man's World" turned into a YouTube sensation overnight and she eventually made it to the Top 16 on the Live Shows. Karina is currently appearing at local venues with her jazz quartet playing a mix of neo-soul and jazz music. Karina is no stranger to the music scene as her first album was released back in 2006. Her set included a jazzy version of Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall" as well as her latest single, "Only Love Can Save Us."

Next up was another local musician, Nigerian-born saxophonist, John Erinosho who is currently in the studio working on new music for release in late 2015.  John is a featured artist at the American Express Jazz lounge and is well respected in South Florida for his soulful style. John displayed his talent on three seductive tracks and left the stage leaving the audience begging for more of his musicianship. The last track that her performed is a current radio favorite by another artist (I wish I es song because it was really good). On it, he added a Nigerian beat which had the crowd up on their feet and grooving to his sax playing. 

Sheila E. is a world-class percussionist whose credits read like a who's who in a music history book: Marvin Gaye, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, George Duke, and many others. She is a Grammy-Award nominated singer and songwriter responsible for the seminal hits "The Glamorous Life" and "A Love Bizarre." Aside from constantly touring, Sheila E. this past year released her first new album in 13 years, the aptly titled "Icon."  She also added  the title of author to her list of accomplishments with the publication of her autobiography, "The Beat of My Own Drum" this past September. Her performance consisted of a couple of songs of the "Krush Groove" album, her hits, and many songs from "Icon," including one of my favorites off this album, "The Leader of the Band."

Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson, and Peabo Bryson have been touring the country as the Men of Soul. Balladeer Jeffrey Osborne's career has spanned several decades as he swayed the audience with such favorites as "On the Wings of Love," "Don't You Get So Mad," "Only Human," and the crowd favorite "The Woo Woo Song." Jeffrey told the crowd that the late George Duke had produced every one of his solo albums since leaving the group LTD, and that he vowed to pay tribute to George at every single show where he performs. Jeffrey also performed a George Duke song, entitled "Jam," which got the crowd standing and dancing.  He also performed some LTD classics such as "Holding On," "Back in Love Again", and of course the timeless "Love Ballad."

Freddy Jackson is considered to be one of the most popular R&B artists of the '80s and early '90s, effortlessly dominating the R&B charts with hit after hit.  Freddie has a total 11 number one hits to his credit, many of which he performed, including "Rock With Me," "Jam Tonight," "You are My Lady," and "I Don't Want to Lose Your Love."  Freddie was looking svelte after announcing that he had just recently lost 107 lbs.  

Oscar and Grammy award winner Peabo Bryson swooned the crowd with such favorites as the Quiet Storm stalwarts "Feel the Fire," "Reaching for the Sky," 'I'm So into You," and "Can't Stop the Rain,"  Peabo paid homage to his duet partner Roberta Flack with whom he performed the massive hit "Tonight I Celebrate My Love," which he performed with one of his back up singers.  

Although he is an official member of the Men of Soul, Howard Hewett was not on the bill this evening, however he was backstage and contributed to background vocals throughout the night. As a matter of fact, during D.L. Hughley's portion of the show, Hughley called on Howard to come join him on stage, and when he in fact did join him, Howard joked that this was the longest time he spent on a stage without getting paid. 

One of the most popular and highly recognized stand-up comedians,D.L. Hughley,kept the action moving along in between the performances. D.L. was most recently heard on the New York radio airwaves as host of the morning show on WRKS-FM.  Nowadays her serves as a weekly contributor to the nationally syndicated show, "The Tom Joyner Morning Show." D.L.'s 10-minute bit in after the Peabo Bryson performance was extended to about 40 before Toni Braxton took the stage.  At one point, Jay Anthony Brown (The Tom Joyner Morning Show) came onstage to entertain the crowd with is non-stop comedy bit.

The beautiful and talented Toni Braxton hit the stage with her distinctive sultry vocal blend of R&B, Pop, Jazz and Gospel.  With more than 40 million albums sold worldwide and six Grammy Awards to her credit, Braxton delighted the audience with an endless selection of classics. The audience totally enjoyed her performance as evidenced by how many people were actually singing along to the songs with her.Toni shared the story of when she was diagnosed with lupus which led her to lose her desire to continue her singing, and that it was the encouragement of her peers (Madonna, Lady Gaga, etc), who gave the drive to get back into the business. She also acknowledged Babyface who discovered her and produced many of her greatest hits.

Unfortunately Jazz Chill did not get a chance to see the R.Kelly performance.  In any event, it was a great show.  Kudos to all the performers and to the Jazz in the Gardens organizers. 


No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...