Mayor Oliver Gilbert leads his first Jazz in the Gardens

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert has always enjoyed Jazz in the Gardens. However, this year will be his first time at the two-day music festival as the city’s mayor. It will also be a first for the city that began Jazz in the Gardens under the leadership of Mayor Shirley Gibson, who is the city’s fist mayor. Gilbert is the second.

Gilbert, who was born and raised in Miami Gardens, isn’t letting first-time jitters get the best of him. He says that what he loves most about the festival is being able to converse with residents. Given that the concert is expected to attract upwards of 50,000 patrons this year just means that there are more folks to speak with.

“It’s the type of community event that we need,” he says.

Jazz in the Gardens will take place March 16-17, at Sun Life Stadium 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami, Fl. The event will be hosted by Michael Baisden. Performances include Charlie Wilson, New Edition, Earth Wind & Fire, Najee, Rachelle Ferrell, Neyo, Monica and Mary Mary.

What distinguishes Jazz in the Gardens from other music festivals?
Mayor Oliver Gilbert: I think it the atmosphere. You just don’t get a good concert; you get the diversity of this community expressed through musical experience and food. It’s a party with whatever you want to eat.

What performer do you look forward to seeing?

My favorite artist is Babyface and he’s coming back this year. He’s just extraordinary–Charlie Wilson also.

What sparked your interest in public service?
Well I was born and raised in this city. It’s the desire to actually serve the residents of this area. My family lives here. I’ve been here all my life. I know the people, I know the place, I know who we are and what we can be.