Concert of the Week: Jazz in the Gardens

"Jazz in the Gardens" is the wrong name for this festival. The two-day event held at the home of the Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, is now in its 12th year. But there is no garden, at least not in the typical, backyard sense of the word, and, more important, the music isn't strictly jazz.

If the true nature of the fest were in its name, it would go something like "Jazz, Blues, Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, and Every Other Influential Form of Music... at Hard Rock Stadium." But that would be stupid long. Instead, organizers let their lineups explain everything.

This year's fest boasts an exceptional and varied crop of artists: Common, Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Jill Scott, LL Cool J, Morris Day & the Time, Robin Thicke, the Roots, and many others. Quietly, this has become one of the better Miami music events. And it receives less fanfare than it deserves.

It might seem somewhat disingenuous to describe a fest that draws about 70,000 people as quiet, but with quality like this, Jazz in the Gardens could be more.

Because Miami is a cultural melting pot, there are other options this week: Friday night, ZZ Top will visit the Fillmore, and Voodoo Glow Skulls will head to Churchill's Pub, and Lane 8 will spin at 1306 Saturday night.

Jazz in the Gardens
Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19, at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; jazzinthegardens.com; 800-745-3000. Tickets cost $96 to $222 via ticketmaster.com.

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