The countdown is on! It’s exactly three months and one day to the City of Miami Gardens’ 14th annual Jazz In The Gardens (JITG) and they’re making music moves with an amazing lineup for the March 9—10, 2019 music festival hosted once again by Rickey Smiley.
On the program are Lionel Richie; Teddy Riley & Friends, featuring Blackstreet and Dave Hollister; Bobby Brown and Doug E. Fresh, with special guests En Vogue and Jagged Edge; and Stephanie Mills. Jazzing it up this year will be the JITG All-Stars, featuring Nelson Rangell, Chielli Minucci, Gerald Veasley and Maysa. There will also be Tye Tribbett, The O’Jays and Black Violin taking to the stage for the two-day festival at the Hard Rock Stadium.
“We have some extraordinary talent,” said Oliver Gilbert, City of Miami Gardens mayor. “The Jazz in the Gardens stage will be blessed,” he said during the lineup’s official announcement this week on Hot105 FM.
“Lionel Richie, the most requested JITG artist, who has never performed at the music festival, will be coming. He is someone who transcends generations, with songs that really touch you. What Black Violin can do with violins… they can take any hip-hop song, any classical song, any gospel song, any country song [and] mix them with violins. They are two of the most talented people, and they are from the City of Miami Gardens. Ultimately, we’re trying to appeal to people who like a whole bunch of different genres in music,” said Gilbert.
Music icon Lionel Richie is able to pull from a discography of albums and singles that are second-to-none for his JITG performance. Think mega-hits such as “Endless Love”, “Lady”, “Truly”, “All Night Long”, “Penny Lover”, “Stuck on You”, “Hello”, “Say You, Say Me” and “Dancing on the Ceiling”. His catalogue also includes his early work with The Commodores, when he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as “Three Times a Lady”, “Still” and “Easy”.
Stephanie Mills first came to fame as “the little girl with the big voice”. The “voice” is able to pull from a body of work that includes songs like “Watcha Gonna Do with My Lovin’”, “You Can Get Over”, “Sweet Sensation”, “Never Knew Love Like This Before”, “Two Hearts”, “Don’t Stop Doin’ What Cha Do”, “I Feel Good All Over”, “(You’re Putting) a Rush on Me”, “Something in the Way You Make Me Feel”, “Comfort of a Man” and “Real Love”.
And of course, the O’Jays are touring history, and a connection to an era and a sound that formed the soundtrack for the lives of several generations. They are still hitting the road with the same electrifying energy they’ve had for over 50 years.
Walter Williams and Eddie Levert first met when they were six and seven years old, respectively. As teenagers in Canton, Ohio, they formed a band originally consisting of Levert, Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. In 1963, the band took the name “The O’Jays” in tribute to Cleveland radio disc jockey Eddie O’Jay. Several members have changed, but the core, original lead singers, Levert and Williams continue to front the group.
Their chart-topping songs include “Backstabbers”, “Love Train”, “Put Your Hands Together”, “For The Love of Money”, “I Love Music” “Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)” “Livin’ For The Weekend” and “Use Ta Be My Girl”.
Tye Tribbett will bring the gospel. Tribbett exists as that radical entertainer who is shattering the mold of what is traditionally known as gospel music. He is often
heralded as the “Elvis of Gospel”, with one of the most relevant voices of this generation. A sound that reaches the hearts of young as well as the old. His music cannot be classified as one genre, but his unique abstract way encompasses all. He is consistently mentioned amongst such gospel greats as Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton and Kirk Franklin.
His high energy, powerful and infectious music has helped redefine gospel music and earned him two number one albums, two Stellar Awards and three Grammy nominations.
Black Violin is composed of classically trained violist and violinist Wil B and Kev Marcus who combine their classical training and hip-hop influences to create a distinctive multi-genre sound that is often described as “classical boom”.
Black Violin has shared stages with top names including Kanye West, Aerosmith and Tom Petty, and has creatively collaborated with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean and Alicia Keys.
The mayor says the party on the stage is one thing, but the party in the audience is what you bring with you. And he urges you to bring it because it’s Jazz In The Gardens.
“We have two days of performances, but even before we get there, we have the third annual FMAC (Film.Music.Art.Culture), where business meets art meets the community; we have the eighth annual Women’s Impact Luncheon, which is always amazing; the third JITG Poetry Contest, where we’re valuing your voice and your mind and your expression, and we’re going to pay for it putting our money where our mouth is with a $10,000 first prize – all leading up to Jazz In The Gardens 2019. It is going down,” said Gilbert.
JITG tickets go on sale today.