|LL Cool J|
Jazz, funk, R&B, hip-hop and soul bounce — music for every appetite will be had at the 12th annual Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) Music Fest, which has released another stellar lineup of artists for the ever-popular festival presented by the City of Miami Gardens.
Robin Thicke; Herbie Hancock; Morris Day and The Time; as well as Jazz in the Gardens All Stars, Will Downing, Chante Moore, Marion Meadows and headliner Jill Scott, will command the stage on Saturday’s day one.
On Sunday; Andra Day; Common; The Roots; and the ever so cool LL Cool J, featuring DJ Z-Trip, will have the focus on them.
The music festival, running March 18–19, has become one of the most anticipated South Florida events in a little over a decade. Comedian Rickey Smiley has been tapped to once again host the festival at the Hard Rock Stadium.
Tony Williams, programming director at Star 106.5 FM and Hot 91.7 FM, was excited about the artists on this year’s ticket. The show, he said, offers something for everyone. As usual he expects Bahamians to flock to South Florida for the festival.
For those persons who have yet to experience a JITG festival, he said this year’s show will be the perfect introduction to get them hooked to the JITG experience — and he assures they will be hooked.
“This is quite an interesting lineup. I think it’s pretty exciting,” said Williams.
Jill Scott, Robin Thicke, and LL Cool J have all performed at previous JITG festivals, but were such crowd pleasers that festival organizers brought them back.
“We’ve seen Jill Scott before and we know what she can do. We’ve seen Robin Thicke and he really had the crowd going. We’ve seen LL Cool J before, and I imagine they brought him back because he was a crowd pleaser,” said Williams.
Scott is an artist with a deep commitment to lyrical honesty and musical integrity. Since her debut in 2000 her career has continued to blossom.
Robin Thicke, the “Blurred Lines” and “Sex Therapy” crooner, has established himself as one of the most respected singer-songwriters in soul and R&B music
LL Cool J is known for such hip hop hits as “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”, “I’m Bad”, “Mama Said Knock You Out” as well as romantic ballads such as “Doin’ It”, “I Need Love”, “Around the Way Girl” and “Hey Lover”.
Williams says he expects Chante Moore to be exciting.
Since arriving on the R&B music scene over 15 years ago with her sensual debut single “Love’s Taken Over,” she has flourished into an accomplished female favorite. Hits like “It’s Alright”, “This Time” and “Chante’s Got a Man” have made her known as a consistent artist.
“Will Downing is a good jazz artist and should be exciting as well,” said Williams.
Downing is an artist whose work has withstood the test of time. His voice is one of the most distinctive, loved and instantly recognizable voices in R&B.
According to Williams, people will be surprised by Andra Day’s “interesting voice”.
Day’s debut album “Cheers to the Fall” was released in 2015. The album’s main single “Rise Up” was nominated for Best R&B performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards.
Williams said to expect The Roots to be “awesome” as usual.
“They can do jazz, they can do hip-hop and are so versatile,” he said.
The hip-hop group formed in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is known for a jazzy and eclectic approach to hip-hop featuring live instruments.
Common rose to prominence as one of hip hop’s most poetic and respected lyricists, having recorded over eight albums and garnering multiple Grammy Awards. He is one of hip-hip’s most innovative positive voices.
The programming director has never seen Herbie Hancock or Morris Day and The Time, a group from the Prince era, perform live and is looking forward to their performances.
Hancock is considered a true icon of modern music. His career has spanned five decades and 14 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for “River: The Joni Letters”.
Morris Day has demonstrated longevity. His rarefied musical style marked the 80s with trademark comical skits, trendsetting stage gadgetry and dance and R&B chartbusters like “The Walk”, “Oaktree” and “Fishnet”.
Saxophonist and contemporary jazz recording artist Marion Meadows will satisfy the craving for that genre of music fans.
The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5 FM is going into its ninth-year partnership with JITG organizers and will once again give readers and listeners opportunities to win complete packages to the music festival, inclusive of roundtrip airline tickets with Bahamasair, hotel accommodations, rental cars with Dollar Thrifty Hertz and concert tickets. Concert tickets will also be up for the taking for Bahamians who have already made plans to be in the South Florida area and at that time.Williams said people should read The Nassau Guardian and listen in to Star 106.5FM for details on how the packages and tickets will be won. But just in case you don’t want to wait, you can purchase concert tickets at jazzinthegardens.com.