Jazz In The Garden Music Festival

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This year's Jazz In The Garden Music Festival

This year's Jazz In The Garden Music Festivals that took place on (17-18 March 2018) in Miami, Florida would not be the first to miss ever since gracing the debut festival three years ago. As a Jazz lover, I happened to attend all the three past editions, and this one was a prerequisite. I was not to miss. After receiving a considerable portion of hype all over the world from different media houses during the advertisement period, not even a toddler or an aging couple was expected not to set foot into the arena as some of the best Jazz performers globally were to perform.

Artists and Instruments

Equipped with my ticket and a few dollars I arrived at the arena accompanied by a close friend on a rather sunny Sunday afternoon at around 3 O’clock. We arrived on time just to find the local disk jockey hyping the crowd with some cool pop music that led us into joining the audience in a dance as the countdown begun. Artists expected to entertain Jazz lovers with some electric music included Jimek and the Ghetto Classics, The Betty Bears, Lean, The Limericks, Fabulous Femme Fusion, Gloria Bosman, Joja Wendt, and of course the exceptionally talented group BWB which consists of three musicians namely Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun. Instruments used by these musical magicians included pianos, guitar, double bass or the bass guitar, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, drums, and violins.

Highlight Performances

When the artists got on stage, I got wild as I danced along to their tunes and tempo, some of the pieces performed were announced to the audience by the musicians themselves. I recall pieces like, Todii and Neria by Oliver Mtukudzi which were presented by the Jimek and the Ghetto Classics, we all murmured to the puzzling lyrics unaware of the meaning but aware of the lovely message behind the great voices. So What and Take Five initially composed by Miles Davies and Dave Brubeck were pieces performed by The Betty Bears from Israel who gave us a great piano touch with their version of these pieces. I was also privileged to listen to the Jazz versions of my all time favorite pieces including No Woman No Cry by the ever great Robert Bob Nesta Marley and Night Nurse originally done by Gregory Isaac. They were performed by The Limericks who gave a cool Jazz tempo to these all-time worldwide hits. Another electrifying piece performed was Flight of the Bumblee considered as one of the most difficult piano pieces while in synchronization with the double bass performed by Joja Wendt whose rendition nailed it. However, the piece that got the whole audience emotional was Whitney Houston's composition I will always love you, performed by the BWB. Their performance was thrilling, and I witnessed many stunned as they tried to comprehend the magical blend they were listening to.

Short Analysis of the Pieces

Individually I could randomly pick some of the best pieces played; they included I will always love you, performed by the BWB, No Woman No Cry by the ever great Robert Bob Nesta Marley and Night Nurse originally done by Gregory Isaac performed by The Limericks. It was how they blended these different styles of music into jazz version overwhelmed me. How the BWB performed the love song, I will always love you from the original Blues style to an Acid Jazz genre was just incredible. They performed the song in a symmetrical section (ABACABA) of Rondo form playing the piano, trumpet, violin and bass guitar bringing an electric blend melody with bars that were not long of (16-32) bars. All the artists engaged in the performance, my favorite section was the Coda which included the playing of all instruments on stage and the inclusion of Norman Brown base voice notes. This performance was just incredible as the whole audience joined them emotionally myself included.

Memorable Performance

However, my moment of the evening came when The Limericks performed No Woman No Cry by the ever great Robert Bob Nesta Marley and Night Nurse. They enriched these reggae pieces with a magnificent cool jazz genre, performing them in section (AABA) of the Ternary form. They thrilled the audience with a color melody with bars around (4-8) after the intro and (16-32) before the chorus, full of harmony enough to awaken the original composers from the dead, engaging every member of the band and instruments they had set up on stage. My favorite section was the harmonizing of the drums, trumpets, bass guitar and guitar to give reggae but cool jazz feeling. I could honestly say that these were my favorite pieces of the event.


As a Jazz music lover, I would proudly say that this was one of the best Jazz performances I have and will ever attend, all the performances were electric, and I would not regret my decision to travel from NewYork just to grace the festival. All the bands hyped the audience with their instruments coordination and rich voice notes. For the first time, I learned that different genre of music would be performed in a jazz genre. I related the flow of different chords and notes as learnt theoretically.

October 05, 2023




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