Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the folks at Jazz In The Gardens (JITG) have upped the ante with the addition of Nelly, Keyshia Cole, Uncle Luke, Mark Felton and Mike Phillips to the acts for the 15th annual music festival rockin’ off in 16 days.
Nelly, Keyshia Cole and saxophonist Mark Allen Felton have been added to the Saturday, March 14 lineup with Mary J. Blige, Charlie Wilson and Stokley from Mint Condition.
Uncle Luke has been added to the Sunday, March 15 lineup with The Roots & Bilal along with Mike Phillips who will bring the jazz to JITG this year in a lineup that features Jill Scott, H.E.R., Kirk Franklin and SWV for the Live Nation Urban and Live Nation Miami-produced festival in Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium.
And Lynette Williams will be taking it all in courtesy of The Nassau Guardian and Star 106 Hits for free. One of the first winners from The Nassau Guardian and Star 106 Hits, Williams yesterday won a package for two inclusive of Bahamasair tickets, hotel accommodations at Comfort Suites Sawgrass, a car rental with Dollar Thrifty Hertz and concert tickets from a Star 106 Hits drawing yesterday.
Williams, who will be attending JITG for the first time, said she’s always wanted to go to the music festival.
“I’ve always wanted to go hang out and have a good time,” said the excited Williams.
While she knew most of this year’s lineup, she’s most excited to see Mary J. Blige.
Williams will make a girls’ weekend of it with her cousin, Jenaette Richardson.
“She (Richardson) was the one who encouraged me to enter, so it’s only fair I take her,” said Williams.
Readers of The Nassau Guardian still have until the morning of Thursday, March 5 to clip their entries from the newspaper, fill it in and drop it off at The Nassau Guardian’s office on Carter Street, Oakes Field. The deadline for entry is 10 a.m.
The Nassau Guardian winner will win a complete package as well. Hopefuls can enter as many times as they want with original entries clipped from the newspaper.
Off the concert stage, Let’s Talk Film, Music, Art & Culture (FMAC) at JITG, which provides professional development and networking opportunities for those passionate about art and culture, will once again feature prominently among the music festival’s events.
FMAC will feature singer, songwriter and author Anthony Hamilton (book discussion – message behind the music); Melissa Mitchell of Abeille Creations, actress; Tanisha Cidel, actress and screenwriter, OWN’s “David Makes Man”, “Moonlight”; Kelsey Scott, actress/screenwriter; Anthony “Lump” Lumpkin, artist; Lucien Adderley, actor/writer, OWN’s “David Makes Man”; Richard Byrd Wilson, writer, OWN’s David Makes Man; and Jordan Bolger, OWN’s “David Makes Man”, Netflix’s “The 100 Peaky Blinders” and Netflix’s “IBoy” on March 5 at Florida Memorial University’s Smith Conference Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Back by popular demand will be the Women’s Impact, an inspirational experience designed to inspire women to live centered, active, fulfilled and balanced lives. It’s an event to which men are welcomed and celebrated as well. Attendees are entertained and engaged by guest speakers who deliver powerful expertise on how to create a happy, healthy, spiritual and centered existence. The luncheon takes place Friday, March 13 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hard Rock Stadium, Club Level.
JITG) Music Festival is a vibe that’s like nothing else you will ever experience. It allows you to go to the festival alone, or with a friend. If you attend alone, rest assured there are people that will dance and sing with you, and if you attend with a friend you will leave with more friends, because it’s not just a concert, it’s a complete experience, as promised by Oliver Gilbert III, City of Miami Gardens mayor.
They promised something special in this 15th year, and they delivered with their stellar lineup headlined by Blige, the most requested artist in JITG history; Scott, one of the most talented artists in the world who is again gracing the stage; as well as everyone’s favorite uncle, Charlie Wilson, who, after multiple appearances at the festival, never disappoints; and H.E.R.
Comedian Rickey Smiley will once again return as host of the event.
JITG according to the mayor is the City of Miami Gardens’ special way of saying hello to the world. And Bahamians are among the thousands flocking to JITG in droves to take in the city’s signature event that the experience says “hello” to.
For the 11th year, The Nassau Guardian and Star 106 Hits have partnered with Bahamasair, Comfort Suites Sawgrass and Dollar Thrifty Hertz to give Bahamians the opportunity to take in this amazing experience that Tony Williams, Star programming director describes as “fantastic”.
“This is going to be a fantastic show,” said Williams. “I want to see Uncle Charlie. I enjoy him every time I see him. And Mary J. Blige – I just love her…you get so much emotion from her because she puts herself into the performance because she tells her life story. Jill Scott is great. And Kirk Franklin is going to be a really upbeat performance. They will definitely name some locals and from past experiences the local acts have been really good and to be looked forward to.”
JITG is a show that Williams said he definitely looks forward to annually, but he said he’s most excited to partner with Jazz In The Gardens to give The Nassau Guardian readers and Star 106 Hits listeners the opportunity to enjoy a great show and experience.
“Very seldom do you get the opportunity to see this many artists together – and so for me to be able to do this for our readers and listeners is a real treat. Through our partnership with Jazz In The Gardens we can give them an opportunity to see the best show in town in the City of Miami Gardens.”
Woodrow “Woody” Wilson, Bahamasair senior consultant, sales and marketing, said at the national airline they look forward to partnering with The Nassau Guardian and Star 106 Hits every year for JITG.
“This is one of our major events because we know it’s an event the Bahamian public looks forward to, and we look forward to providing the public with the best rates out there to take them to Jazz In The Gardens. We’ve been a partner from day one, and as long as The Nassau Guardian and Star are promoting Jazz In The Gardens, we will be there with them.”
He said Bahamasair will offer a rate starting at $242 inclusive of all taxes.
As usual, Wilson and Bahamasair have partnered with hotels in Florida to provide special rates for Bahamians flying in for the popular music festival and have negotiated special rates at Comfort Suites Sawgrass at $109 plus tax per night, and at the Holiday Inn on 103rd Street at $129 plus tax.
Wilson, a huge fan of JITG, says he’s looking forward to seeing Charlie Wilson perform again.
“I look forward to seeing Uncle Charlie every year, he’s my favorite. I don’t care how many times I see him he puts on such a show. They don’t make music like that anymore,” he said.
This year’s lineup came later than usual, but the wait was worth it when the roster was finally revealed.
JAZZ IN THE GARDENS
When: March 14-15
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida
Tickets: $99-$602 online via ticketmaster at www.jazzinthegardens.com