MIAMI GARDENS — Surprise guests from Kevin Hart to Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union were spotted by people who attended the Ninth Annual Jazz in the Gardens on March 14 and 15. Upwards of 30,000 people crowded into Sun Life Stadium on March 14, though no official crowd numbers were released as of Wednesday.
Music enthusiasts who hailed from New York, Michigan, Indiana, Louisiana and Georgia including locals came out to witness this annual cultural event in Miami Gardens. Other surprise cameos included Nelly, Doug E. Fresh, Tank, Tom Joyner and Harry Belafonte.
A couple from Detroit heard about the event while vacationing in Orlando and wanted to come find out what it was all about. “We came to see everybody; we really enjoy music so this was a must when we heard about it,” said Elaine and Gregory Hunter.
Jazz in the Gardens delivered on the music with performances by LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx and Anthony Hamilton, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, R&B artist Trey Songz, original Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, R&B funk group Mint Condition, six-octave vocal songstress Rachelle Farrell and 2014 Grammy nominee jazz artist Boney James and others.
The artists created interactive performances by getting attendees to join them onstage. Jamie Foxx gathered ladies from the crowd to dance for $5,000. LL Cool J brought fans onstage to break-dance while he performed classics like Mama Said Knock You Out and I Need Love.
Newcomers, intrigued by the lineup of artists, were impressed with the show. “It’s my first year actually so I came to see what all the hype is all about,” said Cherise Sumiar from Tennessee, who won her tickets by entering a radio contest.
And the surprises kept coming. Host D.L. Hughley was about to bring Trey Songz to the stage but change his mind and surprised the crowd with comedian Hart. Hart had the crowd in stitches before relinquishing the stage to Trey Songz. “Damn, I look good. Miami, don’t your boy look good?” said Hart laughingly.