2018 Jazz in the Gar­dens a “grown folks party”


MIAMI GAR­DENS, Fla. – One of the most pop­u­lar en­ter­tain­ment gath­er­ings, not just in South Florida, but around the coun­try, Jazz in the Gar­dens has es­tab­lished a rep­u­ta­tion for its black fam­ily re­u­nion vibe, ex­hil­a­rat­ing mu­si­cal per­for­mances and spon­ta­neous dance­offs and “Soul Train” lines.

This year the an­nual two-day mu­sic fes­ti­val takes over the ex­te­rior of the Hard Rock Sta­dium on March 17 and 18; one of the lucky venues to fea­ture songstress Anita Baker in her farewell tour.

The show also in­cludes grown folks’ fa­vorites Chaka Khan, smooth jazz acts Pieces of a Dream and Wal­ter Beasely, rap duo, Salt ‘n Pepa, Amer­i­can Idol win­ner Fan­ta­sia, Mo­town leg­end, Smokey Robin­son and oth­ers.

The sul­try voiced Baker has been ab­sent from record­ing and per­form­ing for a num­ber of years. Lack of new mu­sic notwith­stand­ing, like R&B leg­end, Frankie Bev­erly and Maze, Baker can pack con­cert halls on the strength of time­less clas­sics like “Sweet Love,” “Caught up in the Rap­ture,” “Giv­ing You the Best,” and oth­ers.

Khan is ex­pected to wow the crowd with sing-along fa­vorites like “I Feel for You,” “Tell Me Some­thing Good,” and “I’m Ev­ery Woman.” The seem­ingly age­less Smokey Robin­son will un­doubt­edly spark nos­tal­gic vibes with Mo­town clas­sics.

The idea for the mu­sic fes­ti­val was the brain child of Miami Gar­dens’ first mayor, Shirley Gib­son, who wanted a sig­na­ture event for the third largest city in Miami-Dade County and the third largest pre­dom­i­nately African Amer­i­can city in the coun­try.

In ad­di­tion to fea­tur­ing some of the na­tion’s hottest per­form­ers, a va­ri­ety of food op­tions and ven­dors with var­i­ous mul­ti­cul­tural mer­chan­dise, the fes­ti­val also spot­lights lo­cal artists, like A. Ran­dolph. The Miami Gar­dens na­tive will hit the main stage on March 17; per­form­ing with S.M.A.S.H Room Pro­ject, a jazz col­lec­tive that will be the fes­ti­val’s house band this year.

Ra­dio per­son­al­ity and co­me­dian Ricky Smi­ley is mak­ing an en­core ap­pear­ance as host. The week­end kicks off with sev­eral events, in­clud­ing the Women’s Im­pact Lun­cheon and open­ing night party fea­tur­ing the S.O.S. Band.

Anita Baker Ricky Smi­ley Fan­ta­sia

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