3rd Annual Jazz In The Gardens

The City of Miami Gardens is pleased to announce the star-studded lineup for the 3rd annual Jazz in the Gardens music festival, being held on Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th at Dolphin Stadium. Confirmed artists include, George Benson, Chaka Khan, The O’Jays, Wyclef Jean, Nancy Wilson, KEM, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Chrisette Michele, Mike Phillips, Anthony David, Elin among other local artists.

"Jazz in the Gardens has really become an internationally recognized event. It’s exciting to know people from all over the world look forward to coming to Miami Gardens. It’s incredible how music has the power to transcend language and culture, as it serves to unite people. With this year’s line-up of jazz greats we will continue to make Miami Gardens a proud community and a more visible destination." says Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.

Among the many performers who are slated to perform will be Jazz guitarist, singer and international superstar George Benson. Benson began his journey as fledging guitarist, working the corner pubs of his native Pittsburg. Forty years later, George Benson is an eight-time Grammy winner who has played the world over. Benson’s tone is juicy; his blues solos sparkle with a carefully honed logic where a jaunty funk and swing aesthetic prevail.

Another headliner will be Jazz icon and incomparable soulstress Nancy Wilson whose musical style is so diverse, it is hard to classify. But whatever she performs she is riveting. Whether jazz, blues, pop or cabaret, she is the consummate "storyteller", a professor emeritus of body language. Wilson’s stellar career spans over 40 years and over 70 albums. She is a three-time Grammy winner, Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, and recipient of the NAACP image award. Nancy’s most recent Grammy was won in 2007 for her jazz album, "Turned to Blue". Nancy Wilson comes out of retirement to join the City of Miami Gardens’ for its 3rd Annual Jazz in the Gardens.

Concert goers will be treated the smoothe sounds of George Duke whose professional career has spanned five amazing decades. He began his piano studies at age seven, absorbing the roots of Black music at his local Baptist church. Fast forward to today and Duke’s career has taken twists and turns, all bigger than the next. The list of artists and projects Duke has participated in is mind blowing. He has worked with Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, Cannonball Adderly, Quincy Jones, Frank Zappa, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Jeffery Osborne, Barry Manilow, Gladys Knight, George Benson, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Luther Vandross, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and the list of top notch, multi platinum superstars that Duke has worked with goes on and on. Through the years, along with his own releases and busy producing schedule, George has acted as musical director for numerous artists and television specials including producing The Soul Train Music Awards for nine years. George Duke’s career has been simply stunning and it doesn’t look like its going to slow up any time soon.

In 1971, the jazz world immediately recognized the dexterity and complete musicality Stanley Clarke possessed. The former teen prodigy is now a Grammy & Emmy Award winner. His constant pursuit of perfection with relentless attention to be the best makes Clarke is a celebrated pioneer in fusion jazz music. He was Rolling Stone Magazine’s very first ‘Jazzman of the Year’, and the first bassist in history to ever headline tours and sell out shows.

Jazz in the Gardens, in just three years, has become one of the premiere jazz festivals in South Florida; raising the bar each year with its star studded line up. The jazz festival, with attendance levels expected at 20,000 this year, delivers a diverse mix of music genres that range from Jazz, R&B and Caribbean sounds.

This is the second year that the City has teamed up with Circle of One Marketing for Media, Marketing and Public Relations and Concertz Event Management, Inc. as Producers of Jazz in the Gardens. With the leadership of The City of Miami Gardens, this team has, in just 2 years, taken Jazz in the Gardens to unprecedented levels of notoriety and reputation. Last year’s phenomenal success included growing the attendance by 350% over the first year. With the tremendous line-up of artists, on-site attractions, tight event management and massive local, regional and national promotional efforts, this year’s attendance is expected to top 20,000, up more than 200% over 2007.

Jazz in the Gardens is presented by The City of Miami Gardens and Dolphin Stadium and sponsored by American Airlines, Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Royal Caribbean, UAIG, Miccosukee Resort & Casino, Southern Wines & Spirits, National Constructors, Warren Henry Automobiles, FP&L, National Constructors, Publix, LOVE 94, HOT 105, In Focus Magazine, Comcast and Opa Locka Flightline

The City of Miami Gardens was incorporated on May 13, 2003 as the 33rd city in Miami-Dade County. At a population of approximately 109,000, it is the third largest city in Miami-Dade County. Miami Gardens is a solid, working and middle class community of unique diversity. It is the largest predominantly African-American municipality in the State of Florida and boasts many Caribbean residents. In 2007, the City hosted the 41st annual Super Bowl. In 2009, the City will host the college BCS championship game and in 2010, will host the 44th Super Bowl.

For general information visit www.jazzinthegardens.com or call the event hotline at: 305.622.8043.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Nancy Wilson, George Benson, George Duke, and Stan
  • Event Date: March 15 - 16, 2008
  • Subtitle: George Benson, Stanley Clarke, George Duke and Nancy Wilson To Headline Miami Gardens Jazz Festival
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