Premier South Florida Jazz Event Enter Its Fourth Year
The City of Miami Gardens has just released their mega star-studded lineup for the 2009 installment of Miami Gardens’ own music fest billed as “Jazz In The Gardens”. The fourth edition of this now popular music fete is set for March 28 and 29th on the grounds of the Dolphin stadium. The two-day festival will be a one stop shop for music fans of all ages, as there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The March 28th lineup includes: Anthony Hamilton, Common, Erykah Badu, Will Downing, Roy Ayers. The final day of the festival will see artists such as Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Kenny G, Jonathan Butler, Angelique Kidjo, and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. These artists are no stranger to the South Florida area and music fans from all walks of life who will travel to this two-day festival no doubt have there favorites.
Kenneth Gorelick’ known only as Kenny G to his million of fans worldwide started with a job as saxophone soloist for Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973 at the age of 17, when White was impressed by his mastery of the blues scale. Kenny was also studying for a major in accounting at the same time. After being rejected as a music major from Central Washington University, he went on to get a degree from University of Washington and played with the funk band Cold, Bold & Together before becoming a credited member of The Jeff Lorber Fusion. He began his solo career after his period with Lorber. In 1982, Kenny G signed with Arista Records as a solo artist, after label president Clive Davis heard his rendition of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”. He has released many solo albums and collaborated with various artists including Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Natalie Cole, Steve Miller (which marked the only time he appeared on a rock and roll album), Dudley Moore, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin. Influenced by the likes of saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. and the lyricism of Barry Manilow, his own albums are usually classified as smooth jazz. He received success quite early on, with both G Force and Gravity, his second and third studio albums respectively, achieving platinum status in the United States.
Will Downing is an American singer-songwriter and producer. Downing’s recording career has won a loyal audience of contemporary jazz and R&B fans with albums and concerts that have showcased his rich baritone vocals and unique interpretations of R&B and pop classics that stretches back to the early 1980s. After about two decades of making approximately sixteen solo albums, this crooner showed extreme courage, even though Will was sidelined with the devastating auto-immune disease known as Polymyositis, he managed to release his lastest album entitled After Tonight. South Florida music fans will embrace him with open arms as their musical ear will be in for a treat.
Erica Abi Wright born February 26, 1971 better known by her stage name Erykah Badu, is a multiple Grammy-winner American soul singer and songwriter, whose work encompasses elements of R&B, hip hop and jazz. She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo soul sub-genre, and for her eccentric, musical stylings and sense of fashion. Erykah also known as the “First Lady of Neo-Soul”. Early in her career, Badu was recognizable for wearing very large and colorful headwraps. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. Her musical success stems over the following albums Baduizm (1997), Live (1997), Mama’s Gun (2000), Worldwide Underground (2003), New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) (2008), New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) (2009)
Anthony Hamilton was born January 28, 1971 in Charlotte, North Carolina is an American R&B, soul, and neo soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame with his platinum-selling second studio album Comin’ from Where I’m From (2003), which featured the singles “Comin’ from Where I’m From” and “Charlene”. Hamilton first discovered his talent while singing in his church’s choir at age ten. In 1993, he left Charlotte and headed to New York City, where he signed with Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records. He was first introduced to mainstream audiences with his singing of the chorus on Nappy Roots’ 2002 “Po’ Folks”, which earned a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” in 2003. He is also featured on Jadakiss’ 2004 hit “Why” (which was also nominated for “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration”, in 2005) and two of 2Pac’s remixed songs, 2002’s “Thugz Mansion” (7 Remix) and 2006’s “Dear Mama” (Frank Nitty Remix). Hamilton’s first compilation album, Soulife, is composed of songs recorded during the early part of Hamilton’s career and was released in June 2005. Ain’t Nobody Worryin’, his gold-selling third studio album, was released on December 13, 2005.
Ayers grew up in a musical family. At the age of five, Lionel Hampton gave him his first pair of mallets, which led to the vibraphone being his trademark sound for decades. The area of Los Angeles that Ayers grew up in, now known as “South Central”, but then known as “South Park”, was the epicenter of the Southern California Black Music Scene. On any given day, Roy would have been likely to be exposed to music as it not only emanated from the many nightclubs and bars in the area, but also poured out of many of the homes where the musicians who kept the scene alive lived in and around Central. Thomas Jefferson High School, from which Ayers graduated, gave to the music and jazz worlds some of its brightest stars, such as Dexter Gordon. Ayers was responsible for the highly regarded soundtrack to Jack Hill’s 1973 blaxploitation film Coffy, which starred Pam Grier. He later moved from a jazz-funk sound to R&B, as seen on Mystic Voyage and especially the title track from his 1976 album Everybody Loves the Sunshine.
The Concert will see other greats as South African Singer/Songwriter Jonathan Butler, Common, Maze featuring Franky Beverly and Angelique Kidjo.
Jazz in the Gardens, in just three years, has become one of the premiere jazz festivals in South Florida; raising the bar each year with its star studded line up. The jazz festival, with attendance levels expected at 20,000 this year, delivers a diverse mix of music genres that range from Jazz, R&B and Caribbean sounds.
Circle One Marketing and Concertz Event Management, Inc., fresh off the heels of their success with last year’s festival is once again at the helm with this year’s installment. The strong leadership of Mayor Shirley Gibson has taken The City of Miami Gardens in just three years, taken Jazz in the Gardens to unprecedented levels of notoriety and reputation. Last year’s phenomenal success included growing the attendance by 350% over the first year. With the tremendous line-up of artists, on-site attractions, tight event management and massive local, regional and national promotional efforts, this year’s attendance is expected to top 20,000, up more than 200% over 2007.
Jazz in the Gardens is presented by The City of Miami Gardens and Dolphin Stadium and sponsored by The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Macy’s, Southern Wines & Spirits, HOT 105 and Tootsies Caberet.