A dynamic sweet 16th year
Music for just about every taste graced Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival stage
Everyone’s favorite uncle, Charlie Wilson never disappoints. At 70 years-old Uncle Charlie is still the life of the party. And in his fourth … fifth … who can keep count – Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival appearance, he straight up let you know that he wasn’t there to perform a concert and that he was there to party – which he did, as he took his fans through a diverse mixture of music, most of which he spent tickling the ivories.
Uncle Charlie opened his set with a throwback to his roots belting out three Gap Band favorites back-to-back: “Early in the Morning,” “Yearning for Your Love,” and “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” before he ventured into some of his solo hits – “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” and really got the crowd into the party atmosphere he wanted with the opening chords of “There Goes My Baby,” and “I’m Blessed”.
He then ran through “Beautiful” a Snoop Dogg cover, “Life of the Party,” which he definitely was before returning to his Gap Band roots for “Outstanding,” and completing his nearly 90-minute set with “Sweet Yamz” as the music festival celebrated its 16th year on a sweeter level of highlighting Black music and culture at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Wilson had followed another crowd favorite, Sean Paul, who is regarded as one of dancehall’s most prolific artists, as he made his debut performance on the JITG stage in a set that seemed almost endless.
Sean Paul laid it all out there. He opened his set with “No Lie” featuring Dua Lipa then ran through a number of his singles “Gimme the Light,” “Get Busy,” “Like Glue,” before he covered Beyoncé’s “Baby Boy” to split his set before dropping “I’m Still in Love With You, “Boasty,” “Got 2 Luv U,” “She Doesn’t Mind,” “Give it Up to Me,” and closing dropping a cover of Enrique Iglesias’ Bailando on which he is featured.
Keyshia Cole also showed up and showed out on the JITG stage running through a 14-song setlist to the delight of the music festival patrons; while Chandler Moore, Kierra Sheard and Pastor Mike Jr. brought the soulful Sunday groove to the venue to jumpstart the closing night on which Erykah Badu headlined the Sunday lineup.
And that was only day two!
The internationally JITG Music Festival kicked off on Saturday with Adam Blackstone & The Legacy Experience, leading in to the OG El DeBarge taking to the stage early and doing his thing to the delight of the thousands in the audience setting the night up perfectly.
Are Lennox followed, dropping “Mean Mug,” “Boy Bye,” to the delight of the audience and “Outside”. She ran through “BMO,” “Unloyal,” “Pressure,” and concluded her set with “She Butter Baby,” of course, for all of her shea butter babies.
To put it simply – Jodeci did its thing!
From “Come & Talk to Me,” to “Forever My Lady, “Cry for You,” “Get on Up,” and Love U 4 Life,” Jodeci delivered all their fan favorites, and the crowd ate up their performance.
And the stage was set for Miss Jill Scott to do her thing, which she certainly did.
Over 28,000 people traveled to Miami Gardens to enjoy the popular festival that featured dynamic R&B, neo-soul, reggae, and gospel musical talents and which actor and comedian Deon Cole served as master of ceremonies.
Beat box legend Doug E. Fresh made a special backstage appearance.
Local talent taking to the JITG stage second stage included April Raquel, Deep Fried Funk Band, DJ Nasty & Bo Weezy, DJ Tight & She-J Hercules, Larry Dogg, Lavie, and Ronnie VOP.