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Annual Jazz in The Gardens Music Festival Highlights

This past weekend, the City of Miami Gardens took South Florida by storm with its highly-anticipated 15th Annual Jazz in The Gardens

Music Festival (JITG), which took place March 11th -13th, 2022, after a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The 2022 festivities began Friday, March 11th, with the Women’s Empowerment Luncheon featuring an inspirational talk with legendary Gospel Artist Yolanda Adams, hosted by South Florida based author and coach Natasha Mayne aka “The Vogue Attorney”. This intimate yet lively conversation focused on being a spiritual woman in today's turbulent world. Over 400 attended the colorful occasion and enjoyed a day of fellowship after the 2-year separation.

Immediately following was the JITG Official Press Conference, hosted by Natasha Mayne, which included panelists Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris, Brittany Flores, President, Live Nation Miami, Shawn Gee, Live Nation Urban, Connie Kinnard, V.P. Multicultural Marketing, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami Dade Commission Vice Chair Oliver Gilbert III, the former Miami Gardens Mayor, and Miami Gardens Assistant City Manager, Vernita Nelson.

On Saturday, a jam packed audience enjoyed the Jazz in the Gardens music festival with unforgettable performances from Ron and Ernie Isley of the legendary Isley Brothers, Cheryl "Coko" Gamble, Leanne “LeLee” Lyons, and Tamara "Taj" George of SWV along with rap sensationBlack Thought of the Roots, who brought on DJ Jazzy Jeff and featured T-Pain and closing the show was the incomparable headliner Mary J Blige, who made three wardrobe changes during her two hour set. JITG was hosted by radio syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley, who kept the crowd in stitches with his famous hilarious banter.

On Sunday, the festival again presented unforgettable performances from Mark Allen Fenton, jazz saxophonist Mike Phillips, Stokley, formerly of Mint Condition, gospel sensation Jonathan Reynolds, Miami Gardens own, hip hop icon Rick Ross and headliner H.E.R. who sang all of her hits.

Honoring a home-grown Miami Gardens legend: Rick Ross aka Rickey Rozay

A special break in the festival came when Mayor Harris and the City Council dubbed March 13th to be “Rick Ross Day”, a fitting hontor to Miami Gardens hometown superstar Rick Ross who has become of one the most popular entertainers in the world in addition to being a prolific entrepreneur with interests in brands like WingStop, Rap Snacks, Belaire Champagne and more.

"The return of Jazz in Gardens was a great experience. I’m grateful to everyone for all their hard work in making the festival a success, the sponsors, production team, staff, volunteers, attendees and of course – all the incredible artists who performed, “ said Mayor Rodney Harris. “The energy was amazing, and we definitely missed that these past two years. We are proud that we were able to share Miami Gardens with everyone who attended, and it was my honor to recognize the undeniable talent of one of our own, someone who grew up here and went on to become an international artist and businessman, Mr. Rick Ross. Declaring March 13th as Rick Ross "The Biggest Boss" Day in the City of Miami Gardens was an absolute pleasure for us.”

For more information and the latest updates about Jazz in the Gardens, visit

Photo credit: AJ Shorter Photography

Media Inquiries: Suzan McDowell (305) 576-3790

About City of Miami Gardens The City of Miami Gardens celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013. Miami Gardens is the 33rd city in Miami-Dade County. With a population of approximately 110,000, 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 Florida and boasts many Caribbean and Hispanic residents. The City hosted the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl, the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl™, Super Bowl XLIV™, 2013 Orange Bowl and 2013 BCS National Championship game. The City has demonstrated steady growth in the areas of community and economic development, and has gained a reputation for being a hot destination in South Florida.

By ML Staff. Image courtesy of Miami GARDENS


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