Jazz In The Gardens has been an annual event occurring in Miami Gardens since 2003 and gets larger every year. The event hosts jazz, R&B and gospel singers for a two-day festival that you can enjoy with your girlfriends, friends, loved ones and family. I experienced Jazz In The Gardens with my mother and I highly recommend this experience as a mother-daughter trip.
The experience kicks off on Friday night with a VIP reception. This year, the reception was hosted by The Sugarhill Gang who are well known for their hit, ‘Rapper’s Delight.’ They performed for an intimate crowd with people young and old singing their hits and swaying to the music. If you thought this was an “old person” festival, think again. The Mayor of Miami Gardens, Oliver G. Gilbert III, jumped on stage and proceeded to dance to Miami’s very own, Trick Daddy Dollar. That set the tone for the entire weekend.
What makes this a festival that you want to bring your mama and your Aunties? First off: the festival starts in the afternoon, with doors opening at 4PM. With this late afternoon start, you can have a Saturday morning brunch with your family and enjoy Miami Gardens and the Ft. Lauderdale area. I highly recommend spending time at Aventura Mall. The mall has expanded and has everything from Fendi to Forever 21. What’s even better than the shopping experience, is the food. On Sunday, my mother and I had brunch at Tap 42, a lively restaurant that offered bottomless mimosas (which I took advantage of) and a variety of food options so anyone and everyone who attends will be happy. I opted for a Drunken Goat burger which has a purple haze raspberry jam that paired nicely with the whipped goat cheese. My mother had The Prohibition burger which comes with a delicious secret sauce and bacon. Yum.
The event is very well organized. My mother and I got our tickets at will call seamlessly and were able to find our seats without an issue. There are vendors galore, literally with every kind of food you can imagine. There was a surplus of conch fritters which made for these conch fritter salads that were hosted in pineapples. Jack Daniels had a “hydration truck” so there was whiskey abound. In addition to food, there were Black vendors there selling their artwork, clothing, and more. Brands like Taliah Waajid also had booths and were giving out free products to showgoers.
What made this festival so special, was in addition to vendors, there were also organizations there for the betterment of Black people. People could get information on first-time homeownership, information on Miami Gardens, and more. It was beautiful!
The actual event itself was incredible. The lineup was mixed with your 70s, 80s, and 90s favorites, making this a perfect concert for all ages. My mother was humming and living her best life to Stephanie Mills, who performed for an hour! They also had Black Violin, a more recent group, but appealed to all audiences. En Vogue was there and brought down the house with their harmonized vocals.
The women went crazy when Jagged Edge performed.
The second night was just as epic as the first! The afternoon started with some gospel with the effervescent Tye Tribbett bringing some soul to the crowd. As I peroused the vendors, I listened to the O’Jays crooning in the background.
Brandy Norwood brought a lively performance to the audience, requiring audience participation that brought the crowd to their feet.
Lionel Richie closed out the evening and started with Hello.
This is definitely a festival I would like to attend in the future. I spoke to my mother that Monday and she shared that she had such a great time and wanted to take her girlfriends and sisters next year. This is definitely a family fun festival that has something for everyone!