The Jazz in the Gardens Festival 2011 lineup is live, and we like what we see. Although the anticipation for Lauryn Hill is a smidgen diminished because she was in South Florida last month for a performance at the University of Miami, perhaps she's got "Killing Me Softly" and "Doo Wop (That Thing)" freshly rehearsed for this visit. Either way, a provocative, unforgettable performer to lead the first day of the fest, set for March 19-20 at SunLife Stadium.
The rest of the lineup for the first day includes beatbox luminary Doug E. Fresh and ruler of rap storytelling Slick Rick. We just barely avoided using "legend at least twice just now. The day also includes underrated and overtalented R&B/soul songstress Jazmine Sullivan, who released the accomplished Love Me Back. "Holding You Down (Goin' In Circles)," which features a Slick Rick snippet or three, is a crusher.
Rounding out Friday is Gap Band's Charlie Wilson, and the jazziest of the whole bunch Al Jarreau.
Sunday's magnetism relies on Gladys Knight, En Vogue, the Grammy-nominated El DeBarge, Lalah Hathaway and Branford Marsalis. Local artists who want to get involved should click here for more information.
Jazz in the Gardens Festival. With Lauryn Hill, Charlie Wilson, Al Jarreau, Jazmine Sullivan, Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick, Gladys Knight, En Vogue, El DeBarge, Lalah Hathaway and Branford Marsalis. Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 at SunLife Stadium, 2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens. Tickets cost $45 to $145, and go on sale December 10. Click here.