Jazz and R&B music lovers have something to be excited about. The 10th annual Jazz In the Gardens Music Festival is taking the stage this weekend at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The event, which will have more than 40 exotic food and marketplace vendors, kicked off Friday with a special press conference hosted by radio personality Tamara G.
Mayor Oliver Gilbert from the city of Miami Gardens, Albert Tucker from Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Multicultural Business Development Department, alongside nationally syndicated radio personalities, comedians and this years hosts Rickey Smiley and D.L. Hughley with a special appearance from Men of Soul’s Freddie Jackson, were among the few who attended the conference.
“People come here not just for a football game,” Gilbert said. “They can come here, and we can transform a parking lot into a garden where people can just hear music or dance or have food, and it’s thoroughly entertaining.”
When asked about Jazz in the Gardens’ 10th year milestone and what it means to the community, Gilbert responded with a smile on his face.
“It just shows what you can do if you just stick with something,” he said. “When things start out typically they are hard, but as you work with it, and you stay committed, convicted and persistent, what happens is people start to believe because you believe, and I think that our confidence as a community became contagious because now we have people coming from all across the world.”
The mayor continued to assure ro that this year’s event will surpass last year’s experience with this year’s illustrious lineup.
“Without a doubt, this is our most exciting lineup yet and by the reports on ticket sales,” he said, “there’s no denying it.”
Last year’s event brought in 68,000 in ticket sales, attracting both locals and people from out of town. This year, event organizers are anticipating to sell 71,000 tickets.
“The main thing is to create an economic engine that’s really never been seen in this area before for our culture” Tucker said.
The two-day music festival will feature beats from Maxwell, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, Erykah Badu, Run D.M.C., Sheila E., Brian Culbertson, Men of Soul’s Jeffrey Ozborne, Peabo Bryson and Freddie Jackson as well as Jazz in the Gardens’ All Stars Ronnie Laws, Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith and Tom Browne.
Jazz in the Gardens will also feature local artists Valerie Tyson, Karina Iglesias of “The Voice” and Nigerian saxophonist John Erinosho. On Saturday and Sunday, doors to the festival will open at 3 p.m. and the show will start at 4 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster or http://www.jazzinthegardens.com.
“We’re trying to make this a destination event,” Gilbert said. “Come party with us, come have fun with us.” –jaclyn diaz
(Photos by ExclusiveAccess.net)