‘Incorporate the next generation.’ The 2024 Jazz in the Gardens has something for everybody

Every year, Jazz in the Gardens tries to do something a bit different.

In 2019, it was an old school R&B lover’s dream. In 2022, it was the inclusion of more hip-hop acts. In 2023, it was a neo-soul revolution.

This year, JITG aims to attract a younger audience. Of course R&B and gospel legends like Maxwell, Babyface and Kirk Franklin will grace the stage but so will stars like Davido, Summer Walker and Jazmine Sullivan. The rest of the bill, which includes Omarion, Jeezy and Tamia as well as special DJ sets from Kid Capri, DJ Cassidy and Miami’s own DJ Nasty 305, has a little something for everybody.

The goal was to broaden the audience and “incorporate the next generation,” said Black Promoters Collective CEO Gary Guidry. The BPC partnered with the city of Miami Gardens to produce the 2024 festival that runs March 9-10.

No artist on the bill embodies that more than October London. Signed to legendary label Death Row Records, London had one of the most soulful records of 2023, “The Rebirth of Marvin.” The project, which featured singles “Back to your Place” and “Mulholland Drive,” exposed entire generations to the soulful sounds similar to Marvin Gaye.

“You can open up minds, you can open up new aspects of music,” London said of the value of being an artist whose music is multi-generational. After dropping “The Rebirth of Marvin,” London couldn’t help but notice the amount of younger kids in his comment section on social media who had never heard of Gaye. He considered it an honor to be the catalyst for younger generations to be able to explore artists like Gaye who inspired him. “It’s so great to bring all that together because they can now understand ‘Oh, that’s where it started from.’”

This idea is part of why the BPC, which took over the production of JITG after LiveNation, curated the lineup in such a way.

“That’s really what Black culture is about: family, togetherness,” Guidry said. “We’re the kings and queens of backyard barbecues – that is multi-generational loving on each other. You got to give a platform for people to party together and love on each other and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

And few DJs can rock a party like Cassidy, a man who’s always considered himself a “bridge builder.”

DJ Cassidy, seen here rocking the Prudential Center, will bring his “Pass the Mic” series to Jazz in the Gardens on March 10, 2024.
DJ Cassidy, seen here rocking the Prudential Center, will bring his “Pass the Mic” series to Jazz in the Gardens on March 10, 2024.

“Connecting artists and connecting people has always been at the core of what I do,” the New York native said. “Through ‘Pass the Mic,’ I’ve had the privilege of continuing this journey as I’ve been able to bridge musical genre, to bridge generations, to bridge walks of life.”

In 2020, Cassidy’s career exploded to new heights following his creation of “Pass the Mic,” a social media show turned full-blown concert series that featured classic hip-hop and R&B artists performing a medley of their hits. JITG will be Cassidy’s first festival performance of “Pass the Mic” and he brought with him a brilliant cast of characters – Uncle Luke, Lil Kim, Too $hort and T.I. – that spans across regions.

“It was really important for me to not only represent Miami but to represent the entire country,” Cassidy said.

Early indications are that BPC’s approach has worked. After JITG attracted roughly 8,000 people per day in 2023, this year’s iteration expects to double attendance, according to Guidry.

“It’s a testament to what we can do by letting our culture be presented by people who understand it,” the Texas Southern University graduate said, his voice trailing off a bit before quipping “and numbers don’t lie.”

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Jazz in the Gardens

WHEN: 2 p.m.-midnight March 9; 2-11 p.m. March 10

WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens

TICKETS: $105-$1,500

Info: https://jazzinthegardens.com

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