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JITG winners drawn today

The 14th annual Jazz In The Gardens (JITG) tickets are apparently the hottest giveaway in town with a Bahamian reaching out from as far away as Canada to get their name into the pot for the drawing that takes place today, and hoping to be one of the lucky winners who will take in the 14th music experience in the City of Miami Gardens absolutely free in just seven days, courtesy of The Nassau Guardian and Star 106 Hits FM.

If you’ve been clipping your entries out of The Nassau Guardian, but haven’t dropped them off as yet, you have until noon today to drop them off and get your name into the pot.

And as usual, the JITG organizers have produced a stellar line-up for the City of Miami Gardens event, which will once again be hosted by Rickey Smiley at the Hard Rock Stadium.

And true to JITG fashion to ensure satisfaction all around, and make sure that jazz enthusiasts are thoroughly satisfied, keyboardist Lao Tizer, of the Lao Tizer Band, was added to the line-up just over 24 hours ago. He is one of today’s rising stars of the world-fusion genre.

The band’s original music has spurred comparisons of a modern twist on the 1970s and early 1980s heyday of jazz fusion. The music is said to have a multi-genre, multi-national appeal. Its new 2018 CD/DVD combo release “Songs From The Swinghouse” has received acclaim across the industry while debuting near the top of the Billboard Jazz Album chart.

Also named on the line-up for the JITG All Stars were American soul-R&B singer-songwriter Betty Wright and Sherronda Daye & Friends with a special Sunday gospel set.

Tizer, Wright and Daye & Friends have joined the line-up that includes Lionel Richie, who festival producers said had been one of the top-requested artists from social media; legendary R&B powerhouse Brandy; the JITG All Stars – neo-soul songstress Maysa, saxophonist Nelson Rangell, jazz bass guitarist Gerald Veasley and guitarist Chieli Minucci; the O’Jays; and Tye Tribbett bringing the gospel – and that’s just Sunday.

Saturday performances will feature Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Teddy Riley and Friends, featuring 1990s superstars Blackstreet, Bobby Brown, Doug E. Fresh, En Vogue, R&B favorite Jagged Edge, Stephanie Mills, eclectic violinists Black Violin and Bigg D & Da Band.

American hip-hop group the Sugarhill Gang kicks off the festivities, tapped for the opening night party at the Hyundai Club, at the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida, on Friday, March 8 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Tony Williams, Star 106.5 Hits programming director, has said this year’s JITG is for people who love “real” music – music they can understand the lyrics to. If you’re one of these people, this JITG is a must-not-miss event.

For the 11th year a number of people will be able to take in the awesomeness that is JITG for free, as The Nassau Guardian and Star 106 Hits team up with Bahamasair to give away weekend getaway packages for two for the March 9-10 event at the Hard Rock Stadium, inclusive of concert tickets, airfare with the national flag carrier, hotel accommodations at Comfort Suites Sawgrass and La Quinta Inns & Suites and transportation with Hertz Dollar Thrifty

Persons can win two ways: filling in the entry form printed in The Nassau Guardian, clipping it out and dropping it off at The Nassau Guardian, located on Carter Street, Oakes Field; or listening to Star 106.5 Hits FM and sending a WhatsApp voice note saying “Take me to Jazz In The Gardens” to telephone number (242) 431-1605, to be automatically entered. Two winners will be randomly selected from each medium today.

People can enter as many times as they want. The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5 Hits will also be doling out a number of concert tickets, apart from the grand prize winners.

“We made it really easy for people to enter,” said Williams, who has attended JITG every year since 2009 and is excited for this year’s line-up.

Williams, who has never seen Lionel Richie perform live, is excited for the opportunity, along with the remainder of the lineup.

“Every year we say ‘How are they going to top this year’… But this year they topped it. Everyone who loves old school music will love the artists on this year’s line-up. We’ve got folks like Teddy Riley, who was popular back in the 90s, so those folks who grew up with that music will definitely love this year. There’s also En Vogue, Doug E. Fresh… Stephanie Mills, who will just be awesome, and Lionel headlines Sunday night. They keep getting better and keep topping the previous year. We always say ‘How are they going to do it?’ and they always come through.”

Woodrow “Woody” Wilson, Bahamasair senior consultant of sales and marketing, says JITG is normally the highlight of his year. He encouraged people who don’t win free tickets but want to attend the 14th JITG Music Fest to take advantage of Bahamasair’s prices, but warned that, as the concert weekend draws near, airline seats will be hard to come by, due to the popularity of the event.

He said the partnership between The Nassau Guardian and Star 106 Hits and Bahamasair for this event continues to be phenomenal, as they’ve seen hundreds of people travel on the airline for the JITG weekend.

Wilson, like Williams, said he was looking forward to seeing Lionel Richie, as well as Doug E. Fresh, on the stage.

“I remember one year early on meeting him (Doug E. Fresh). He wasn’t in the lineup that year, but he came out and did an impromptu [performance] that set the crowd on fire, so I’m really looking forward to seeing him as a part of the act.”

Bahamasair has partnered with hotels in the United States to accommodate the Bahamians who will be flying to Florida for the event at great rates. As of today, Comfort Suites Sawgrass is offering a $109 nightly rate; La Quinta, next to the Broward Mall, is offering a $159 nightly rate, based on double occupancy; and Indigo Lakes, which he said also has a great rate, is the closest hotel to the venue. Hertz Dollar Thrifty is offering convenient vehicle rates for those who are going to go ahead and book their weekends without waiting to see if they’ve won.

And if you’re one of those people who has yearned to attend JITG, but just haven’t done so yet, Williams said this is the year to experience it for the first time.

“If you haven’t experienced Jazz In The Gardens, and if you’ve never experienced an outdoor concert before on this scale, this is the one to go to.”

“The problem always is people looking for airline seats at the last minute. And for anyone wanting front-row seats at the concert, those seats are gone early,” he said.

Outside the concerts and party, the third annual FMAC (Film.Music.Art.Culture), where business meets art meets the community, will take place, as well as the eighth annual Women’s Impact Luncheon and the third JITG Poetry Contest with a $10,000 first prize.

JITG line-up

Saturday, March 9 (Gates open at 3 p.m.)

Teddy Riley & Friends – Blackstreet, Bobby Brown, Doug E. Fresh, En Vogue and Jagged Edge

Stephanie Mills

Black Violin

Bigg D & Da Band

Sunday, March 10 (Gates open at 3 p.m.)

Lionel Richie

Brandy

JITG All Stars – Maysa, Nelson Rangell, Gerald Veasley, Chieli Minucci, and Lao Tizer

The O’Jays

Tye Tribbett

Betty Wright

Serronday Daye & Friends

Opening night party

Who: The Sugarhill Gang

When: Friday, March 8

Where: Hyundai Club, inside Hard Rock Stadium

Time: 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

JITG tickets are available as of Thursday, December 31 (at jazzinthegardens.com)

Two-day ticket prices are as follows (a $16 facility fee will be added to each ticket price):

Platinum – $225 in advance, $247 day of show;

Prime – $158 in advance, $180 day of show;

Reserved – $137 in advance, $158 day of show;

General admission – $99 in advance, $119 day of show.

Single-day ticket prices (an $8 facility fee will be added to each ticket price):

Reserved – $89;

General admission – $72.

Packages:

Silver Ambassador – $1,203 (includes two-day platinum tickets in row two or three, two tickets to the official JITG pre-party, two two-day wristbands for the VIP restroom facilities, one parking pass for Saturday and Sunday and exclusive JITG merchandise, including a JITG laminate and T-shirt).

Shavaughn Moss

Lifestyles Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Shavaughn Mossjoined The Nassau Guardianas a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor.Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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