ll-cool-j_web.jpgMIAMI GARDENS — When city leaders were looking for a way to bring people to showcase what Miami Gardens had to offer and at the same time make it fun event, they came up with Jazz in the Gardens. Nine years ago the city held its first one.

“It started out with a couple of thousand people in the parking lot of Sun Life Stadium,” recalls Mayor Oliver  Gilbert, who was serving on the council when the idea took hold.

From March 14-16, organizers are expecting more than the 63,000 people who attended last year to descend on Sun Life Stadium to feast on a lineup of musical performances from national acts.

Gilbert said the event has managed to grow because of the caliber of acts it’s able to draw and, most importantly, returning guests who bring and tell other people about the event.

“It’s hard to know which came first: the chicken or the egg,” Gilbert said. The national artists want to perform where there is a crowd and the crowd wants to see national artists.”

The 9th Annual Jazz in the Gardens’ talent list names the hottest talent in black entertainment. Stand-up comedian D.L. Hughley hosts the show with an all-star line up including: Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Kelly Rowland, Trey Songz, Mint Condition, Boney James, Rachelle

Farrell, Anthony Hamilton, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly and more. The opening party Friday night stars funk legends Dazz Band and S.O.S. Band at Calder Casino.   Want to get your music on before the show starts? Check out the Jazz in the Gardens playlist on musicchoice.com.

Tickets are at jazzinthegardens.com