The party before the party: Friday night party lineup to kick off Jazz in the Gardens

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, this weekend is one of South Florida’s biggest in music. Thousands are expected at the 9th Annual Jazz in the Gardens Festival featuring performances from Kelly Rowland, Trey Songz, LL Cool J, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Anthony Hamilton, Mint Condition, Rachelle Farrell, and more. Whether you come for the show, the more than 50 food vendors at the Food Village, or to people watch, there is no other place to be this weekend. We’ll leave South Beach for the Spring Breakers while the rest of us head up to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens for a great time.

You should already have all of your tickets by now, but for all the last-minute people, tickets are available at, the Sun Life Stadium Box Office,, and at Ticketmaster locations.

Before your weekend gets taken over by Jazz in the Gardens, here are some pre-party options to start your weekend.

Jazz in the Gardens Official Opening Night Party
Friday, March 14, 9 p.m. – Calder Casino and Race Course, 21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens (Park in Lot B, take escalator to 2nd Floor)

What better way to kick off your Jazz in the Gardens weekend than with the Opening Night Party featuring Doug E. Fresh, the SOS Band, and the Dazz Band and hosted by Hot 105’s Rick Party. Tickets available at

Miami Under 40 Inaugural Mixer
Friday, March 14, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Haven South Beach, 1237 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach

Bites and cocktails and the opportunity to meet and network with young professionals. For info:

Good Times Happy Hour
Friday, March 14, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. – Fate at Gulfstream Park, 601 Silks Run, Hallandale

New Friday night happy hour with music by Ed the World Famous and Silver Foxx. $4 happy hour specials and appetizer menu available. Here’s something for those who like to go out and not spend a lot of money or be annoyed with the typical South Florida nightlife happenings.

RonDAYvu Day Party Jazz in the Gardens Edition
Friday, March 14, 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Martini Bar at Gulfstream Park, 601 Silks Run, Hallandale

Indoor/outdoor day party with music by DJ Selfborn and DJ Mike Cooley. Happy hour from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. The first 300 people in free with RSVP:

Beats-N-Rhymes Friday
Friday, March 14, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. – The Stage Miami, 170 NE 38th St., Miami

Weekly Friday night staple with good music, drinks specials, a chill vibe, and a hot venue. Music by Selfborn and DJ Heron with Rich Medina performing live. $10 entry and $5 drinks before midnight.

Groovy Nights – The Ultimate Dance Party
Friday, March 14, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. – Miramar Cultural Center Artspark, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar

A night of dancing ’till you drop and the best in Caribbean music going five years strong. Admission $20 and cash bar only with drink specials all night.

FLOW FRIDAYS Live Music & Poetry Dinner Party
Friday, March 14, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. – Piano Hollywood at Seminole Hard Rock, 5805 Seminole Way, Ft. Lauderdale

Presented by B Side Entertainment, hosted by Poettis, keys by Annie Jules, and guest vocalist. $10 cover with ladies $5 before 9 p.m.