charlie wilson (hand to ear - slider)

*In 2005, Jazz in the Gardens was created by then Mayor Shirley Gibson of Miami Gardens as an event for the residents.

The once small and humble festival, now in the 11th year, has now grown into an enormous party where thousands of people attend every year because they are guaranteed to have a good time,  present Mayor Oliver Gilbert has promised.

“[Jazz in the Gardens] is not just for our neighbors next door but for our neighbors around the world,” states Mayor Gilbert.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert’s Top Reasons to Attend Jazz in The Garden This Year

Mayor Oliver Gilbert of Miami Gardens, Florida.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert of Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Line Up Is Lit

It is going to be great this year; there is something for everyone. Comedian and nationally-syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley will host, and fans of jazz music will get a chance to chill back to the sounds of Brain CulbertsonUsher will undoubtedly dazzle the crowd with his fancy footwork and polished vocals. Although many were expecting Aretha Franklin, who at the last minute dropped out of the festival this year, R&B King Charlie Wilson will amply fill her vacancy. R&B crooner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Janelle Monae, Kool and The Gang, Michael McDonald, The Average White Band, and The Jazz in the Gardens All-Stars featuring Regina Belle, Najee and Alex Bugnon are also set to come through to give the crowd a serious dosage of sugar and spice, while gospel sensation Fred Hammond saves your soul.

Miami Gardens Supports Its Own

Local artists Ronnie VOP, CriStyle Renae, April Raquel and Kouture Band, and Lavie will also grace the same stage alongside the famed entertainers. The city is purposeful in showing its loyal support for homegrown talent, “We want to show the talent we have in South Florida. This is their first big stage, it won’t be there last, they are talented, and they are going to be stars,” affirms Mayor Gilbert.

The Grub Is On Point

Forget about dieting when attending JITG, strolling through the food courtyard will be like entering foodie heaven.  Make sure to cop a conch salad, a side of ribs and down it all with a tarty drink in a pineapple cup.

It’s Party Time

The opening night party will be at Café Iguanas Pine, which will kick-off the weekend so come prepared to party. Mayor Gilbert understands the day to day pressures of living, and he stands firm that JITG is the place to be, “Life is hard and stressful when you have to work. JITG provides the opportunity to be entertained to let go and have fun.”

Jazz in the Gardens Saturday, March 19, through Sunday, March 20, at Sun Life Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens.  Purchase tickets via ticketmaster.com.