All What Jazz?

Of the 17 acts set to perform during the fifth annual Jazz in the Gardens at Sun Life Stadium, only about half are jazz artists by the genre's strictest definition. When it comes to headliners Mary J. Blige, John Legend, and Robin Thicke — three R&B stars who have enjoyed massive pop success — it’s safe to say their performances will feature as much melisma and vibrato as any of David Sanborn’s sax lines. Similarly, Cassandra Wilson has infallible jazz chops, but her latest album, Closer to You: The Pop Side, includes her take on songs by U2, Cyndi Lauper, and Sting. Be sure to show up early both Saturday and Sunday to catch local soul-jazz artist Kawan DeBose and former Rick James protégé Teena "Lady Tee" Marie this Saturday, as well as South Florida R&B singer Jovie and breakout Canadian soul singer Melanie Fiona this Sunday. We're not sure how rowdy the kid-friendly UniverSoul Circus will get, but Jazz in the Gardens' official site assuredly states, "What happens in the Gardens stays in the Gardens!"
Sat., March 20, 3 p.m.; Sun., March 21, 3 p.m., 2010