Miami Gardens, Fl. – April 3, 2018 – The City of Miami Gardens celebrated its 13th annual Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) music festival on March 17 and 18, 2018 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, with two days of first class performances from more than 14 bands headlined by Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson and Fantasia.
The undisputed highlight of the magical JITG weekend was Anita Baker, who brought awestruck fans to their feet in a rousing standing ovation as she sang her goodbyes on the JITG stage, the first stop on her national Farewell Tour. Baker has not performed publicly in over 20 years, leaving her fans hungry for her smooth, unique voice. According to The Root “Baker was endearing and sweet and executed a casual slay on the sultry Miami stage”. A social media storm followed her Jazz in the Gardens performance which received thousands of views within hours of her final note.
The over 60,000 attendees at Hard Rock Stadium also got down to the soulful funk sounds of Fantasia, fell in love all over again to Smokey Robinson, worshipped with Tasha Cobbs Leonard, and screamed like teenagers when Joe took the stage. Concert goers were awestruck by Trombone Shortly & Orleans Avenue and slow grooved with The Jazz in the Gardens All Stars featuring Pieces of a Dream, Walter Beasley and Avery Sunshine. Closing out the evening with the “I LOVE the 90’s” Tribute was Salt-n-Pepa, Kid ’n Play, Biz Markie, and Trick Daddy with a surprise performance by the diamond princess herself - Trina. Jazz in the Gardens was dubbed the world’s biggest outdoor house party!” by Kid from the 90’s rap duo Kid ’n Play. Never wanting to disappoint, Chaka Khan gave her best in spite of doctors’ orders to rest. These dynamic artists left their heart on the stage. The A. Randolph Band, a first-time JITG performer, wowed fans with his skillful covers and unique blend of original works keeping the fans rocking in between every set. Nationally syndicated radio personality and funny man Rickey Smiley hosted this ultimate music festival experience.
Dubbed the “best JITG line up ever” by the festival’s active social media following, the lucky 13th year of this world class music festival experience featured the world’s top artists from the R&B, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and funk genres. Rounding out JITG, guests enjoyed an array of American and Caribbean cuisine, and indulged a unique shopping experience only the sassy cultured Jazz in the Gardens could produce.