JITG here we come!
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Mar 10, 2017
Philip Andrew Rolle, a six-time Jazz In The Gardens (JITG) veteran, was all set to purchase his tickets today for him and his wife Denise to attend what has become the City of Miami Gardens’ premiere entertainment event that celebrates diversity, culture and art through various genres of music, but he got the call yesterday. He was one of The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5 FM’s JITG winners. When he called his wife to give her the news, she simply cried tears of joy.
Rolle then admitted that it had been his wife who had “painstakingly” filled in newspaper entries daily in his name during the promotion to increase their chances of winning. Denise’s madness to the method that had his name pulled from a record number of JITG entries this year worked.
Rolle won Bahamasair tickets for two, concert tickets for each night, hotel accommodations at Comfort Suites Sawgrass, and a two-day car rental with Dollar/Thrifty/Hertz.
“I’m elated. This [win] defrays all of my costs this year so I don’t have to go through all of that. I’m grateful for this, and to my wife for putting my name in the hat. She did all of this.”
Rolle said he’s looking forward to seeing all of the artists at the March 18-19 festival.
“My wife and I always go to both days and we look forward to seeing everybody.”
The Rolle’s, who will be attending their seventh of 12 JITG festivals, describe the experience as a nice atmosphere. He said they enjoy the ambiance, the food, the festivities and the people.
Shandis McFall, Latera Pinder and Rudelle D. Stubbs also heard their names called as lucky winners in the promotion from among thousands of entries.
Pinder and McFall also walked away with full packages to next weekend’s event.
McFall, who will be attending her first JITG, is looking forward to going.
“I’ve never went and I just want to go for the experience. I want to see all of the artists.”
McFall was at work and listening to Star 106.5FM and said she had even forgotten the drawing was taking place yesterday at Bahamasair’s Oakes Field ticket office.
“I just heard two winners had already gotten called and then I heard the name [Shandis McFall called on the radio] and I said that sounds like my name, I was shocked. I was on the phone with somebody and I dropped the phone. [She was that excited for her JITG tickets.] So I just came on down,” said McFall.
She will be taking her boyfriend Patrick Donald with her. The weekend getaway will be extra special for the duo as her boyfriend is returning home this week from a three-month-course, and his birthday is on Saturday, so they will be celebrating at JITG.
“I don’t have to pay for nothing,” said Pinder, another complete package winner. “I feel wonderful. I feel excited.”
She was one of those people that tried to stack the box in her favor with multiple entries, and increased her chances of winning by entering through every medium available to her.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said of the win. “I could use a break.”
Pinder found out she had won after she got a call from the Star team.
“Actually I was listening [to Star 106.5FM] online all day, then my husband [Marvin Pinder] called. When he called it took me offline, and I didn’t have a chance to go right back in, and then I got the call,” she said.
This will be Pinder’s second time at JITG. She attended previously in 2015 for the fabulous 10th anniversary blowout.
Stubbs received airfare for one, and tickets for two people to the concert.
A JITG newbie, Stubbs said she wants to go to see how it is.
“I always hear friends talk about it, so I decided to see if I could get it free. And I’m looking forward to seeing all of the artists,” said Stubbs.
Of the thousands of entries submitted, Stubbs put in just two. Luck was with her.
The winners and their travel partners will find themselves entranced by the rich beats and musical stylings that have vibrated from the stage for the past 11 years.
Rolle, Pinder, McFall and Stubbs and their guests are going to take in some of the hottest, most talented performers in music next weekend in Jill Scott and Common, and hip-hop performers who are heavily influenced by jazz — like The Roots and LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip — at the 12th version of JITG that is offering a mix of new stars and old school acts at the newly named Hard Rock Stadium.
The Bahamian winners will party at the festival that boasts an annual attendance of over 70,000.
Tony Williams, Star 106.5FM programming director’s advice to the winners who have never attended JITG is to get to the stadium early daily to take in all that is the JITG experience and to not miss a second of the show.
Even though they may be going to see particular artists, Williams said, there’s the likelihood that they will find a new artist to love after seeing them perform.
With a record number of entries into this year’s promotion, even more than last year, Williams said he was caught off-guard, even though he knows how popular the promotion has become in the past nine years.
“Last year we thought that was a lot, but this year broke all expectations as far as entries,” he said.
Williams himself has his eyes set on seeing Andra Day perform live for the first time. He’ also anticipating seeing Jill Scott again.
“I don’t think you can ever see enough of an artist you like,” he said.
Woodrow “Woody” Wilson, senior manager for sales at Bahamasair said they were again pleased to partner with The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5FM to take the Bahamian public to JITG. He said the promotion is a boost to the airline’s traffic during this time of year, as they run 99-percent full.
Wilson also gets to take in the concert, and while he will admit to not being a spring chicken, he says he always finds an act that appeals to him, and this year is no different.
“I’m old school, so LL Cool J, Morris Day and The Time … the old school acts have caught my eye and I’m looking forward to seeing them. But I always find an act to enjoy, including performers from my era and the more modern artists, because I know some of the music because of my children. I go from my kids to me,” he said.
Wilson said he’s looking forward to continued promotions with The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5 FM, not only with the JITG promotion, but other promotions as well.
With this year’s JITG promotion, the number of people that have seen the concert for free through packages numbers at 55 after yesterday’s winners, and that does not include the people who are given concert tickets just by purchasing Bahamasair tickets. Hundreds of Bahamians flock to JITG annually through The Nassau Guardian, Star 106.5 FM and Bahamasair promotion.
Each winner’s complete package for two for the March 18–19 music fest included tickets to each night of JITG, Bahamasair tickets and accommodations at one of the participating hotel partners — Hotel Indigo Miami Lakes, Comfort Suites, and Holiday Inn at 103rd Street.
Also on the lineup for this year’s show will be Robin Thicke, Herbie Hancock, Marion Meadows, Chante Moore, Will Downing and Betty Wright, Smokie Norful and Esperanza Spalding.
Williams said the lineup is one to be excited about. And taking it all in with the thousands of people in one place is electric.
“You want to just be there. And actually a lot of folks go and just want to go into general admission, because it’s such a big party.”
He said people who have never been to JITG before should go expecting to have a good time.
For those people who weren’t lucky to have their names pulled, they can still take in JITG at a reasonable price, as Bahamasair is offering rates for as low as $224 to Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Discounted hotel and car rental rates were also sourced that Bahamians can take advantage of by calling the partner hotels and asking for the Bahamasair JITG special. This year’s hotel partners include Hotel Indigo at Don Shula Golf Course, at $149 per night; Comfort Suites on Commercial Boulevard, at $99 per night; and Holiday Inn on 103rd Street, at $95 per night. Dollar/Thrifty/Hertz is offering car rental rates starting at $31 for an economy vehicle of your choice, once you ask for the Bahamasair JITG special.
“Every year we tell people to get their tickets early and take advantage of the rates and to not wait until the last minute,” said Wilson. “We have wonderful partners in the hotels, some of whom have been with us for a number of years, in Comfort Suites, which has been with us from the start, and Hotel Indigo, which has accommodated a winner before. And this year we’ve added the newly renovated Holiday Inn on 103rd Street.”
JITG performers listed in order of appearance
Saturday, March 18
Morris Day & The Time
Sunday, March 19
LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip