Miami-Dade Mayor Reveals Secrets to Crafting an Epic Black Music Festival

Miami-Dade Mayor Reveals Secrets to Crafting an Epic Black Music Festival

Miami-Dade County Mayor Rodney Harris discusses the value of a sense of community on the eve of Jazz In The Gardens, a lively music event that puts a welcome focus on Black musicians and artists. The lawmaker moved his family to Miami Gardens more than 20 years ago after being born and reared in the county.

Currently, the city holds the title of Florida’s largest mainly Black community. “I’ve always aimed to serve the people in this town and have been a servant leader. Therefore, Harris says The Root, “I think we must take advantage of Miami Gardens’ potential location and its potential route there—while also involving our residents in the entire process.”

When it comes to economic development or events like Jazz In The Gardens, which we host in our city, we make every effort to ensure that the people who live here benefit financially, whether it is through employment at some of our larger events or through working as vendors or small businesses involved. These kinds of things enable cities to function and help us become self-sufficient.

Miami-Dade Mayor Reveals Secrets to Crafting an Epic Black Music Festival (1)

In its 17th year, the festival—which was started by Shirley Gibson, the first mayor of Miami Gardens—will take place at Hard Rock Stadium on March 9 and 10. The main acts of this year are Babyface, Kirk Franklin, Summer Walker, Jazmine Sullivan, and Maxwell. A hip-hop component is also present, featuring performances by Jeezy, Rick Ross, Uncle Luke, Trick Daddy, and Trina.

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Gibson was mayor from 2003 to 2012 (she resigned due to office term restrictions), and she passed away at the age of 79 last year. She was aware of the vibrancy and cultural significance that her clientele would experience from a music festival such as Jazz In The Gardens. ” This began as an endeavor Shirley felt strongly about; she simply had this idea, and they carried it out in a parking lot. It has now grown into a significant international music festival that draws attendees from all around the world.

Jazz In The Gardens features a Women’s Impact Luncheon with a keynote speech by Fantasia, an opening night party with the renowned Kid Capri, and a spoken word event dubbed “Poetry In The Gardens” in addition to the concerts. According to Harris, there’s a lot of work involved in every minute element of the weekend, which now includes a newly created cooperation with the Black Promoters Collective.

“This is not just a Miami Gardens event—it takes hard work and commitment from the staff involved, from our sponsors, and the entire council.” The benefits of this extend to the whole South Florida region. We collaborate with Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and cities including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Miami-Dade. We must also make investments in the city itself.

“In the three years I’ve been mayor, we’ve made $17 back for every dollar we’ve invested in economic development. Our investment of $54 million in the city will yield a return of more than $900 million. Because everyone in this South Florida region gains from jazz, it has become one of those major events that everyone attends.

In the end, Harris is pleased with how Jazz In The Gardens brings his community together and is most looking forward to seeing Uncle Luke perform (he affectionately refers to the emcee as his “hometown hero”). “Cities like Miami Gardens are special because they are primarily Black and brown, and we now have the chance to highlight it. We can demonstrate to the rest of the world that events are possible even in the face of difficulties. Everyone congregates at Jazz, and the atmosphere is reminiscent of a large family get-together.

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