This Weekend: Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Robin Thicke Lead Jazz in the Gardens
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 the Gardens!"
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 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.