Of the 17 acts set to perform during the fifth
running of 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 (featured in the jam "Be Without You" above that you should ride into the weekend), John Legend and Robin Thicke -- three R&B
stars who have enjoyed massive pop success as well -- it's safe to say
that 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 days to catch local soul-jazz Kawan DeBose
and former Rick James protegée Teena "Lady Tee" Marie on Saturday, as
well as South Florida R&B singer Jovie and breakout Canadian soul
singer Melanie Fiona on 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
Jazz in the Gardens, with Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke, UniverSoul
Circus, Teena Marie, Joe Sample, K'Jon, John Saxx, Kawan DeBose, and
Rachael Brown. 3 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at Sun Life Stadium, 2269 Dan
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Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens. Tickets cost $55 to $145. Click here.
Also 3 p.m. Sunday, March 21, with John Legend, Boyz II Men,
Cassandra Wilson, David Sanborn, Melanie Fiona, UniverSoul Circus, Eric
Roberson, and Jovie.