“The Ladies in The Gardens”

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“The Ladies in The Gardens”- Female Vocalists Dominate JIG
By, Celli Arenas

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Photo by, Sugar Sugar

First she blankets us with her rich, operatic, soprano; then, she digs down deep and goes in to a sexy, voluptuous, alto to serve us some “Crown Royal on Ice”. Jill Scott, along with Ledisi, Mary J. Blige, and the incomparable Patti Labelle were some of the internationally renowned mega-stars who graced the stage at Jazz In The Gardens, held March 17th and 18th, 2012 in the historic Miami Gardens, Florida. Additionally, this year, world-famous female emcee, MC Lyte served as host of the star-studded event.

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Photo by, Anita Hope Darbonne

When I took a stroll through the crowd on Sunday, I asked patrons how they felt this year’s “Lucky 7″ line up compared to previous years. “This year is awesome, I loved Jill Scott, she was definitely my favorite”, says one concert attendee. “This year the ladies are definitely representing,” says Ken. Concertgoers were wowed at Ledisi’s vocal range and rocking looks. “I have seen Ledisi a couple of times in concert,” says Jerold. “She has a unique sound and she definitely delivers,” he says. “I must admit, she is also sexy as hell,” he gushes. Males and females alike, all agree that the ladies rolled the dice and came up as big winners in the “Lucky 7” concert weekend.

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Photo by, Sugar Sugar

I asked some of the more mature concertgoers about how they liked this year’s line up. “Well, I came for the first time because of Patti Labelle,” says Mary, a 65-year-old retired educator, “She is always a pleasure to see”. “I liked Kevin Eubanks and Kenny G, but I swear, that Patti gets better with age. Now, she is the show stopper,” says ‘50-something’- year-old bus driver, Ron. The lady, Ms. Patti-Patti, represents timeless, classic, vocal perfection; and, she loves to share the stage with today’s hit makers, too. Now that is star power.

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Photo by, Anita Hope Darbonne

Last, but not least, I must pay homage to my fave female of the bunch, MJB. I wanted to get a one-on-one with her, partially because I wanted to tell her that I have been a devoted fan since, “What’s the 411?” but, I also wanted to discuss her new projects, specifically the biopic on the life of Nina Simone. No luck for me! That’s fine. I still sang and danced with her as if it were my own private show. A friend sent me a text during her set, wondering where I was in the crowd. I had to let him know that I was having a MJB holy ghost and would check in later. Mary never disappoints as far as I am concerned.

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Photo by, Anita Hope Darbonne

Guys don’t fret or feel left out. The male acts were awesome too. Big shout out to Kem, Kenny G, Kevin Eubanks, Ramsey Lewis, and the unstoppable Doug E Fresh; but, this year fellas, the women stole the show. See ya in the Gardens, next year!

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Photos by, Celli Arenas

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