As a South Florida Lifestyle Blogger I often get to do dope shit! I enjoy great dinners, get free clothes and travel, cover great events and more, but man when I tell you the natural high I'm on annually this time of year from my Jazz in the Gardens Experience, You better believe the hype!
I am such a huge fan of Good Music. To me Good Music is when an artist has a way of telling a story or taking you to a time and place that remains everlasting in your memory. Good music can make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to make the world a better place with just it's opening lyrics. Good Music is Love and Love is Good Music!
The 12th annual Miami Gardens Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival was all about that Feel Good Music and it's that's Special feeling that keeps the Jazz in the Gardens crowd coming back! I have no idea what the actual numbers were at this year's festival but what I do know is that it was Unapologetically Black, It was Family, and it was Beauty from all walks of life. Now let's get into Day 1 of the Festival.
I arrived at the HardRock Stadium around 6pm on Saturday and as soon as I parked my car and stepped out I could hear the voice of an angel serenading the area and I knew that voice like the back of my hand, it was none other than Mrs. Betty Wright tearing up the Jazz in the Gardens stage and I knew I had to make it there ASAP!
I arrived to the front of the stage just in time to see Mrs. Wright, a South Florida legend make her Grand Debut at Jazz in the Gardens. By the claps and praise coming from the audience I think it's pretty safe to say she'll be back for many many years to come. I can't even put into words what it felt like hearing Mrs. Wright sing her classics such as "Clean Up Woman" and "No Pain No Gain"! You best believe I belted out the words right along with her bringing my entire childhood to life! Thank you Mrs.Betty Wright!
How many Purple Rain fans reading this post. If you're a Purple Rain fan then without a doubt you are more than familiar with the Jazz in the Gardens Mega performing group Morris Day and the Time! Man they ate the stage up with a Prince Tribute, Dance moves for days, and Smooth and Sexy vocals to match. It was such an honor being able to see these guys doing what they love and doing it well! I know without a doubt my life would be different if I could dance as much and as long as these guys! Life changing indeed!
Next up was Super R&B Soul Singing Cutie Robin Thicke and let me just say first before I begin to say why I was pleasantly surprised. Robin's performance was everything! He was sensual, he took full control of the crowd and stage, he sounded amazing, and he had the dance moves to match, Who Knew. You know the term, "Beyoncé always on beat"? I think we might need to create something similar for Robin, Alright Now! This man's falsetto is amazing and I nearly melted hearing him sing my personal Robin Thicke favorite, "Lost Without You". I know I'm not the only one still hoping he and Paula work things out, Am I?
All in all Day one was absolutely amazing with performances by Chante Moore, Will Downing and the All Stars, Herbie Hancock, and the Beautiful and Uber Talented Jill Scott that closed out the show. All was right with the world at the conclusion.
Posing with the winner of the Frugal Flirty N Fab JITG Ticket Giveaway, Dorothy
I'm not sure what it is about Day2 of Jazz in the Gardens but without fail Day 2 always takes the party to the next level. Once again I arrived at the park a little after 6pm just early enough to get my spirits immediately lifted by the soulful sounds of the The Roots. They sounded amazing and so Woke and Quest love is nothing to mess with on those drums. If you've never seen the Roots before live and in person you are definitely missing out. Take a peek at the performance snippet I posted on Instagram
Audre Day was next up to hit the Jazz in the Gardens stage and what a vision of loveliness with a voice to match. Audre gave the crowd a little of everything from reggae to her hit smash "Rise Up"! She danced, shared intimate parts of her life and took the audience on her amazing journey. Audre day is as dope as they come!
Heartthrob Actor and Rapper Common was next to hit the stage and Ladies, he didn't disappoint. Common made my heart melt as he shared his love for South Florida and the fact that he attended FAMU. As if that wasn't enough to seal the deal Common took us on a romantic and uplifting journey as he shared his love of the Black Woman, Why we should be involved in our communities and the importance of keeping our youth lifted.The man is brilliant I tell you and his ability to express himself via lyric is like no other. Common made a lifelong fan out of me at the 12th annual Jazz in the Gardens for sho!
Last but not least closing out Jazz in the Gardens 2017 was none other than the GOAT, LL Cool J! He was smooth and sexy and built like a Ford truck yet took us all on an adventure. LL Cool J shared with us how he got started with rap, his first movie, and yet still managed to make everyone of the crowd members feel like family. Even shared his super silly side with us. The highlite for me definitely came when he performed his mega hit, "I Need Love" as well as "Knock you Out"! He didn't earn the GOAT title for no reason and he made sure we all left knowing why.
Just when I think there's no way Jazz in the Gardens could possibly get any better i'm over and over again proven wrong. While I shared with you the performances of the weekend many of the most amazing things happened off stage. The food, the dancing, the merchandise and the seeing of friends both near and far is something you won't forget but I think the most memorable thing that happened for me was when Ricky Smiley who hosted the show got personal with the audience and shared how his friend was battling Cancer and decided she no longer wanted to deal with chemo and other medications but instead decided she wanted to just live her life out as best she can and was doing so by enjoying Jazz in the Gardens. I watched as the crowd of thousands showed compassion for a lady no one knew and stood in line to share money, hugs, and well wishes with this women. My heart felt so complete seeing this. It was a true example of our ability to show Love for our Brothers and Sisters! Priceless!
Thanks for allowing me to once again share my Jazz in the Gardens Recap with all of you. I enjoy doing it so much. I'm hoping the fine folks at this years Essence Festival bless your girl with those media passes and allow me to bless you all with my Essence Fest coverage and Recap as well. Fingers crossed and if you know someone in charge of making those decisions make sure you put in a good word for your girl and allow me to take my South Florida Fabness to the Essence Fest in New Orleans! Come rain or shine I'll always have my Jazz in the Gardens!
Special Thanks to Circle of One Marketing for always making sure I'm taken care of. For additional information on Jazz in the Gardens please visit JazzintheGardens.com