Mary J. fans, this is your year. Not only did she release an excellent studio album, Stronger With Each Tear, but in the next six months, if you're willing to drive across a couple counties, you can catch her twice in South Florida. Over the summer, the queen of hip-hop soul is slated to perform at this year's surprisingly hip edition of the Lilith Fair in West Palm Beach. But that will likely be a curtailed, festival-length set -- so hardcore fans should check her out in March at the annual Jazz in the Gardens festival at Sun Life Stadium (formerly Dolphin Stadium) in Miami Gardens.
Look past the festival name -- it's totally a misnomer at this point. While the event may have started off focusing on jazz, it's developed into one of the ultimate annual festivals anywhere for quality R&B and contemporary soul. This year's line-up features relative newcomers (Robin Thicke, Melanie Fiona), established latter-day legends (Mary J. and John Legend), and at least one surprising reunion (OMG Boyz II Men)!
The concerts take place Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21, and tickets are on sale now. Hit the jump for the full lineup and details.
Saturday, March 20
Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke, Teena Marie, Joe Sample, K'Jon, Rachel Brown, Kawan Debose, and Jon Saxx.
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Sunday, March 21
John Legend, Boyz II Men, Cassandra Wilson, David Sanborn, Melanie Fiona, Jovie, and Eric Roberson
Sun Life Stadium, 2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens. Tickets cost $45 to $70 for a single day ticket, or $75 to $125 for a two-day pass. Ticketmaster.com