Over the last 5 years, Miami Gardens' annual Jazz In The Gardens festival has become a premier concert event and tourist attraction for South Florida and is helping to build a positive national reputation for the largest majority-black city in all of Florida.
The two-day event featured performances by Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Boyz II Men, Robin Thicke, David Sanborn, Teena Marie, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Sample and many more. Almost every performer was backed by a live band and the variety of musical styles represented was impressive. From David Sanborn's jazz standards, to Teena Marie's Rick James medley, to Boyz II Men's Beatles cover (Money, That's What I Want), to Cassandra Wilson's playing with an African percussionist and traditional style blues guitarist, to Robin Thicke's radio-smooth funk, to John Legend's piano literally making women cry, to a Mary J. Blige set that built to such frenzy that most of the 27,000 fans were on their feet and dancing, the event was characterized by a glowing positivity.
A freelance sidejob for the City of Miami Gardens shooting behind the scenes for both days of the show afforded us a comprehensive perspective. About 23 hours into working the event we managed to take a break from the HD rig and pocket some footage for Crossfade with a small camera. That's the above footage. Jazz In The Gardens is legitimately awesome and well worth checking out in the years to come as it grows bigger and better. Props to Miami Gardens for investing in live music.