The 7th Annual “Jazz In The Gardens” Drew 48,000 Fans

Jazz in the Gardens’ Magical Lucky 7th Year Draws 48,000 Fans With Some Celebrity Surprises

A stellar line up, exotic food and perfect weather credited with festival’s success

MIAMI, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Almost 50,000 people from all over the world attended what is being called “the BEST Jazz in the Gardens yet,” on March 17th & 18th, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.
The lucky 7th year enjoyed its highest attendance levels ever; perfect
mild and sunny weekend weather; exotic foods including the festival
favorite “Reed’s Conch Salad”; and magical performances by A-list
national artists Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle, KEM, Ledisi, Kenny G, Doug E Fresh, Kevin Eubanks, Ramsey Lewis and Nicole Henry and celebrity sightings of singer/actress Queen Latifah, Minister Louis Farrakhan Muhammad, Sr., comedian Robert Townsend and actor Glenn Turman.  First time festival host MC Lyte was met with rousing applause as she introduced each national act and bantered with an enthralled crowd of thousands.

“Jazz
in the Gardens just gets better and better every year, but this year it
was simply remarkable. The performers, the attendees, the food, and the
weather created a perfect combination. People traveled from near and
far to see and experience this amazing festival. It gives me with sheer
joy to see this event develop to where it has become a nationally
recognized venue and in turn making the City of Miami Gardens a  travel destination,” says Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.

Saturday March 17th

The weekend’s festivities kicked off to clear skies and Miami‘s own celebrated Jody Hill & the Deep Fried Funk Band who took to the stage with a tight set and strong vocals. Local Miami Gardens favorites Ike & Val thrilled early audiences with their unique style and Ike’s mastery of the blues guitar, playing with the intensity of Jimi Hendrix. Jazz aficionados were glued to their seats as the legendary Ramsey Lewis performed time tested jazz classics with his talented Electric Band. Old school human beat box Doug E. Fresh
followed with a high energy performance that had the whole festival
doing “the Dougie” while laughing and singing along as he led the
audience down memory lane with a medley of old school hits and classic
TV theme songs. Grammy nominated R&B soulstress Ledisi followed
with an eclectic and rich performance, engaging the early evening
audience. Love was the mood set by the next performer, classy and
polished KEM, who thrilled with hit after hit of romance inspired songs. The night ended with an exuberant and surreal performance by Jill Scott,
who was one of the most eagerly anticipated musicians of the weekend.
Scott sported a huge afro and a wide smile, taking her fans for “a long
walk,” visibly relishing performing hit after spectacular Scott hit.

Sunday March 18th

A
refreshed and eager adult crowd, dressed in their Sunday best, returned
for the second glorious day of the Lucky 7 Jazz in the Gardens.  For
the first time in the festival’s history gospel graced the stage with
local sensation Sensere, who promised to deliver a rock-infused, soul-based, Gospel set and did not disappoint. Then internationally recognized South Florida based Nicole Henry
kicked off Sunday’s national artist performances with her rousing
renditions of pop and R&B inspired jazz selections. The man who
rocked the Tonight Show for 15 years, Kevin Eubanks,
took to the stage after Henry, with his smooth jazz guitar backed up by
a powerful rhythm section that rocked the park. Kenny G.’s always
appreciated long held saxophone renditions and playful audience
interactions kept the vibe alive, instrumental style. Then, Ms. Patti LaBelle,
diva extraordinaire, took the stage, belting out a rousing rendition of
her # 1 hit “New Attitude” to enthusiastic shrieks of appreciation from
young and old alike. The excitement filled weekend ended on a very high
note as Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige
brought her heartfelt “go girl” energy and the audience to its feet
with powerful vocals and personal story to close the Lucky 7th Annual
Jazz in the Gardens as only Mary J. Blige could.

“Jazz
in the Gardens” owes its success to a simple formula: a star-studded
line-up, great food, extraordinarily affordable ticket prices and
amazing weather. For the past six years the festival has enjoyed
unprecedented growth, consistently delivering stunning increases in
attendance while attracting both locals and thousands of out-of-towners
to the beautiful City of Miami Gardens. Previous years have included celebrated performances from A-list artists such as Charlie Wilson, Ms. Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Robin Thicke, the late Teena Marie, Wyclef, Babyface, Gladys Knight, Frankie Beverly and Maze, The Isley Brothers, Chaka Khan, Chrisette Michele, Common, Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamilton, Roy Ayers, The O’Jays, Nancy Wilson, Al Jarreau, En Vogue, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, George Benson, Sergio Mendes, Luciano, Boney James, Boyz II Men, Cassandra Wilson, David Sanborn, Melanie Fiona, Joe Sample, and Lalah Hathaway, among others.

About City of Miami Gardens

The City of Miami Gardens was incorporated on May 13, 2003 as the 33rd city in Miami-Dade County. At a population of approximately 110,000, it is the third largest city in Miami-Dade County. Miami Gardens
is a solid, working and middle class community of unique diversity. It
is the largest predominantly African-American municipality in the State of Florida and boasts many Caribbean
and Hispanic residents. The City hosted the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl, the
2010 NFL Pro Bowl™ and Super Bowl XLIV™. This is the second time that
the City has hosted the Super Bowl under Mayor Shirley Gibson‘s Leadership.  Recently the City of Miami Gardens dropped 5 places from 35th in crimes being committed in metropolitan areas to 40th in the nation according to CQ Press of Washington, D.C.,
who publishes the annual Crime in Metropolitan American report. The
City attributes this achievement to its successful implementation of its
own Police Department. To learn more about the City of Miami Gardens, go to www.miamigardens-fl.gov.

SOURCE City of Miami Gardens

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