Jazz In The Gardens goes for 13 in Miami - With Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson, Fantasia and more
A great mix of iconic singers and rappers marks the roll-out of Jazz in the Gardens for its 13th season this weekend. The event which runs for two days, March 17-18, remains at the Miami Dolphins home field, recently renamed the Hard Rock Stadium, and will feature iconic singers Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan and Anita Baker as headliners, along with Joe and Fantasia.
Also sharing the headlines will be legendary hip hop acts Salt N Peppa, Trick Daddy, Kid N Play and Bizz Markie.
Celebrated singer/songwriter Robinson represents over six decades of American music, since the '60s, as one of the stars that epitomised arguably the most famous music label in American history, the great Motown - the label that gave us Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations and Michael Jackson.
Robinson's light shone brightly over those years as lead singer for The Miracles with memorable hits such as Shop Around, Baby let's Cruise, and Tears of a Clown, before later going solo.
Meanwhile Chaka Khan, an artiste of the 70s' emerged as a brash chanteuse with an intense vocal delivery, as front woman for a band called Rufus, delivering such classics as Through the Fire and I'm Every Woman, which was to later be immortalised by Whitney Houston.
When Anita Baker came on the scene, no one had quite heard a style like hers. Music so powerful, delivered in such eloquent and enchanting compositions, mixed with a bluesy throwback and a hint of jazz, with great pop appeal. Her unique style swept the musical world and Jamaicans, known for their diverse taste for music, voted with hands and feet for all the songs on her Rapture album when it came out in the '80's. She became an instant icon.
That album contained such gems as Sweet Love, No One In the World, Same old Love, and You bring me Joy.
Rap embodied in the music of hip hop became the poetry of urban life of America as it has been for the inner cities of Jamaica, where it all started. Along the way, great musical empires have been built on the backs of the awesome talent of the countless artistes who were to emerge as exponents of the art form. One such entity was the female trio known as Salt N Peppa, spitting rhymes over awesome beats on their way to becoming legends in their own time, carving a distinct path for other women who made their presence felt in the male-dominated genre. Their stand-out tracks include What a man, Push it and Shoop.
Kid N Play's rap was not as gritty as those which came from the hardened streets, but apart from their hits such as Ain't gonna hurt nobody, Gittin Funky and Rollin, they were the stars of House Party, one of the first hip hop-inspired movie that also featured future star comedian Martin Lawrence.
As for Trick Daddy, he could easily be crowned the King of Miami because of the spotlight his music shone on America's southern most metropolitan city, with awesome trakcs such as I am a Thug, Be that, Da wind, and Smooth Sailing, which endeared him to the hip hop collective worldwide.