4th Annual Jazz in the Gardens hosted by Tom Joyner at Dolphin Stadium 3/28-29/09

4th Annual “Jazz In The Gardens” Hosted By Tom Joyner
March 28 & 29, 2009, At Dolphin Stadium
Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, Anthony Hamilton,
Kenny G., Common, Erykah Badu, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds,
Will Downing, Roy Ayers, Angelique Kidjo, Jonathan Butler Headline

The City of Miami Gardens is pleased to announce the star-studded lineup for the 4th Annual “Jazz in the Gardens” hosted by #1 rated, nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, taking place on Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th at Dolphin Stadium, 2269 Dan Marino Blvd, Miami Gardens, Florida 33056.

Confirmed artists include the dynamic Maze featuring Frankie Beverly; soul singing sensation, Anthony Hamilton; renowned Grammy award-winning saxophonist, Kenny G; hip-hop emcee and actor, Common; Grammy-winning soul singer and writer, Erykah Badu; R&B singer and songwriter, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds; smooth and sexy, Will Downing; funk, soul and old school jazz composer, Roy Ayers; West-African-born and critically acclaimed jazz vocalist, Angelique Kidjo; and two-time Grammy-nominated songwriter, guitarist and producer, Jonathan Butler. Local artist names will be released soon.

Tickets on sale as of Friday January 30th, 2009 and are available through the Dolphin Stadium Box office, www.jazzinthegardens.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

“Four years ago, we were just another jazz festival, and now it is really amazing to know that nationally and internationally, we are a well-known and respected music festival. ’Jazz in the Gardens’ has become an economic resource; infusing a new stream of revenue into the South Florida area; creating business opportunities for local businesses and sponsors; and driving tourists into South Florida and the local community. In 2009 we will exceed our past attendance records and continue to make Miami Gardens the winter-break destination for mature adults,” says Mayor Shirley Gibson.

About the Artists

One of the “best kept secrets in the industry,” Frankie Beverly & Maze have been pleasing fans with their unique blend of soul and R&B since the 1976 release of Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, which yielded a string of hit singles, including “Lady of Magic” and “Workin’ Together.” The group continues to be one of the most requested at music festivals throughout the world drawing major crowds. As a headlining act, Frankie Beverly and Maze have been instrumental in giving exposure to several new recording artists, before they became household names, including Toni Braxton, Regina Belle and Anita Baker.

Attracting fans right from the start, Anthony Hamilton’s unique voice draws its soulful force and story-telling inspiration from such pioneers as Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Johnny Guitar Watson and Marvin Gaye. Hamilton’s career-molding break arrived in 2002 when he sang the infectious hook on the Nappy Roots’ “Po’ Folks.” That performance netted the singer his first Grammy nomination for best rap/sung collaboration–and a new label, So So Def Imprint. Not just a fan favorite, Hamilton is also the go-to singer for other artists whether the medium is R&B/soul, gospel, hip-hop, pop or country. Over the last three years, he has written and/or sung with a who’s who in music including Al Green, Josh Turner, Keyshia Cole, John Rich (Big & Rich), Santana and Mint Condition.

Kenny G., the world’s most renowned saxophonist, has established himself as the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era. For the past two decades Kenny has achieved global sales totaling more than 75 million albums, with 45 million albums sold in the U.S. alone. Kenny G. has become a multi-platinum sensation, collaborating with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, co-headliner Babyface and Toni Braxton. With each new recording, Kenny begins from a personal place- the sounds that move him. For the past twenty years he has been a fixture in arenas, amphitheaters and concert halls and has performed for millions of people all over the world. Most recently, Kenny G. released his first Latin Jazz album, Rhythm & Romance, backed by some of the world’s finest Latin musicians. The result was a rich, one-of-a-kind tapestry of samba and salsa, ballads and bossa nova, all of which are held together by beautiful melodies. The album is a collection of new songs and beloved classics that are rhythmically rooted in two disparate sounds resulting in a completely original and moving work.

Chicago emcee, Common, has been an influential part of the hip-hop scene since 1992 with the release of his first album, Can I Borrow A Dollar? Through the years, Common has transformed into the gladiator of hip-hop with his conscious and introspective rhymes. Working with acclaimed artists such as Kanye West, Lily Allen, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, Common has released hit after hit, including the Grammy-winning “Southside” off of his 2007 album, finding forever. Inspired by the 24-hour party scenes of Prague and Barcelona, Common’s new album, Universal Mind Control, creates a body rockin’ blend of hardcore hip-hop, retro electro, sinister funk and sticky sweet soul. Having made his name in music, Common made the transition from underground hero and eclectic icon rapper to mainstream actor, gaining the eyes and ears of a whole new audience with the releases of hit movies such as Smoking Aces featuring Ben Affleck and Jeremy Piven, Wanted featuring Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie and the highly-anticipated Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins featuring Christian Bale.

A 10-time Grammy winner with 11 solo albums of his own, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds’ impeccably crafts explorations of love, romance and relationships and has left an undeniable footprint on the evolution of contemporary pop music throughout the world. His accomplishments include over 125 Top-10 R&B and Pop hits, 41 #1 R&B hits and 51 Top-10 Pop hits (including 16 #1’s), which have produced single and album sales in excess of over 100 million units. In addition to his chart-topping music, Babyface has been the recipient of numerous Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards and American Music Awards. Edmonds was the recipient of the third BET Walk of Fame Award and was named BET’s “Entertainer of the Year” at the First Annual BET Awards Ceremony. This year he will receive a star on Hollywood’s legendary Walk of Fame.

Often recognized as the pioneer of the Neo soul movement, Erykah Badu began enchanting audiences with her 5X platinum-selling debut album, Baduizm in 1997. Her turban-wearing, incense-burning mystique and coy crooning would earn her four Grammy’s, including Best Female R&B Vocal performance for the single, “On and On.” Although Badu’s multifarious musical roots of soul, jazz, and hip-hop do collide to make sweet chaos, it is Badu’s organic hip-hop sensibilities that pervade her new opus, New Amerykah Part I: The 4th World War. The multifaceted singer, songwriter and producer is well-known for selling out live concerts and wooing fans worldwide.

For two decades Will Downing has wowed sophisticated soul fans with his soothing and sensual baritone voice. Downing’s winning musical blend has landed him on radio stations across the R&B, smooth jazz and adult contemporary dial. His hits include “Sorry, I,” “Do You Still Love Me,” “Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This” (a duet with Rachelle Ferrell), “When You Need Me” (a duet with Chante’ Moore), “Don’t Talk To Me Like That” and “A Million Ways.” His engaging live shows have made him a familiar touring presence, performing in Europe and stateside at venues ranging from nightclubs to outdoor festivals and, particularly, all-star packages. Downing has graced stages with cross-pollinating peers such as Gerald Albright, George Duke, Regina Belle, Jonathan Butler, Art Porter, Lee Ritenour and Vesta, just to name a few. After behind-the-scenes work with `80s club producer, King Arthur Baker and vocal diva, Jennifer Holiday, the Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter made his solo debut in 1988 with the self-titled album, Will Downing. Suffice it to say that after two decades of remarkable recordings and performances around the globe, Downing is recognized as the premier male vocalist for the embodiment of his singular, sensuous blend of R&B, jazz and pop.

Vibraphonist/vocalist Roy Ayers is among the best-known, most-loved and respected jazz/R&B artists on the music-scene today. Now in his fourth decade in the music business, Ayers, known as the Godfather of Neo-soul, continues to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers. In the ’60s he was an award-winning jazz vibraphonist, and transformed into a popular R&B bandleader in the ’70s/’80s. Today, the dynamic music man is an iconic figure still in great demand and whose music has been sampled by music industry heavyweights, including Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Tupac, and Ice Cube. Ayers recently recorded with hip-hop artist Talib Kweli (produced by Kanye West) and jazz/R&B singer Will Downing. Many of Ayers’ songs including “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” “Searchin”, “Running Away” have been frequently sampled and remixed by DJ’s worldwide.

Afro-funk, reggae, samba, salsa, gospel, jazz, Zairean rumba, zouk, and makossa are combined through the music of soulful, Benin-born, Paris-based vocalist Angélique Kidjo. Since the release of her self-produced debut solo album, Pretty, in 1988, Kidjo has been embraced by the international press. Kidjo’s albums have been strengthened by contributions from top-notch guest musicians such as: Cassandra Wilson, Kelly Price, Carlos Santana and Dave Matthews. She has also collaborated with exceptional producers, including Miami local Joe Galdo of the Miami Sound Machine. In 20002, Kidjo had her major label debut with Black Ivory Soul, where she explored musical elements of her native Benin to that of northeastern Brazil. Most recently, Kidjo joined forces with Razor & Tie for the May 2007 release of Djin Djin.

Gifted singer, two-time Grammy-nominated songwriter, guitarist and producer, Jonathan Butler, is the product of the Western World. Jonathan’s ability to blend his roots in African music with western pop sensibilities is the trademark of his many albums. At thirteen, Jonathan’s talents caught the ears and eyes of British record producer, Clive Caulder. He was signed to Caulder’s Jive Records and as the old cliché goes, “the rest is history.” Jonathan’s first single broke down racial barriers, becoming the first song by a black artist to be played by white radio stations in South Africa. In the 1990’s Butler solidified his presence with a body of music that crossed color and age lines.

“Jazz in the Gardens”, a two-day, weekend festival, is now in its fourth year and has grown to be one of the top cultural events in South Florida. The jazz festival delivers a diverse mix of music genres that range from Jazz, R&B, Caribbean and African sounds. “Jazz in the Gardens” has something to offer all music aficionados. In 2008, 17,000 attendees enjoyed everything from the Caribbean-infused hip-hop of Wyclef Jean, to the funky R&B of Chaka Khan and the hip neo-jazz soul of Chrisette Michele, to the soul-stirring vocals of the legendary Nancy Wilson.

“Jazz in the Gardens” is proudly sponsored by Dolphin Stadium, The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Tootsies Cabaret, Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, UAIC, Southern Wine & Spirits, Comcast, FPL, Macy’s, Arnstein & Lehr, Miami-Dade District One Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, Mortgage Experts, State Farm, Jazziz Magazine and HOT 105.

For more information on the highly-anticipated “Jazz in the Gardens” 2009 go to www.jazzinthegardens.com or contact the City of Miami Gardens at 305.622.8043. All media inquiries should be directed to Circle of One Marketing at 305.576.3790. Photographs and artists interviews available upon request.

Saturday March 28th
Anthony Hamilton
Common
Erykah Badu
Will Downing
Roy Ayers

Sunday March 29th
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
Kenny G.
Angelique Kidjo
Johnathan Butler

Website

ABOUT THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS
The City of Miami Gardens was incorporated on May 13, 2003, as the 33rd city in Miami-Dade County. At a population of approximately 10,000, 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 the State of Florida and boasts many Caribbean residents. In 2007, the City hosted the 41st annual Super Bowl. The City recently hosted the 2009 college BCS championship game and in 2010, will host the 44th Super Bowl.

JAZZ IN THE GARDENS
For general information visit www.jazzinthegardens.com or call the event hotline at: 305-622-8043. For vendor and sponsor opportunities, contact Concertz Event Management, Inc. at 954 826-6351. All media inquiries should be directed to Circle of One Marketing at 305.576.3790.

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