Thank you for your white blossoms and pink blossoms and tiny new bright green leaves. Your Spring has delighted my eyes and nose. Patrick and I stopped to take pictures on the morning mini-burn, remembering two years ago in France. It’s that bright new glow on people’s faces that comes with short sleeves and shorts.

Wow, Miami, Jazz in the Gardens… WELL DONE YOU GUYS! FANTASTIC! OFF THE HOOK! … I mean just four letter words all over the place—oooooowee! 20,000 people in the parking lot of the Miami Dolphins stadium… You can actually see the stadium just a stone’s throw away, AND ALL FOR JAZZ! Jazz was the superstar on stage today. It was like every jazz lover in the state of Florida was there! Rubbin’ shoulders and bumpin’ knuckles, and sharing glances that come from so deep in the private personal heart and soul of the sensitivities that typically happen only in church. I mean people sharing something so personal and private which they are convinced is a marvelous secret and they smile knowingly at each other. Like church.

Really really big church!

Really big! The stage was 200 feet wide looking from left to right, and from the front to the back of the audience it was 3 football fields. No, definitely not the Blue Note or the Half Note, with smoky little jazz club intimacies.

Sooooooo, now you better shift gears and kick in the afterburners for some warp speed, Scotty! I’m always talking and raving about close intimate rooms where they can hear your heart beat in the soft quiet notes, and how that very quietness dramatically exaggerates the big stuff. Oh yes, we made it happen today out there in the sun, with people milling about and moving around.

We finished a really big You Don’t See Me with larger than life expressions and gestures on my face. Kaboom! Then Larry reverses field and directions and tiptoes the piano introduction into We Got By… That is a really courageous and brave transitional move with all that action out there, but Larry hit it downtown and chilled ‘em out and set me up beautifully for a really quiet front on We Got By. Warp speed to a motionless quiet hovercraft! You go, Larry! All within six to eight seconds. They nodded up and down and said mmhmm when I started “Hardly had a bellyful,” then Turano gets them rocking back and forth with a tenor solo that gets every horn players attention. The church choir does a few by and bys, and hello, it’s John Calderon closing it out with some almost legs-spread-hair-on-fire guitar-phenom-conducted chords, and then we’ve basically all gone from quiet church to Whitesnake and Jimmy Hendrix in three and a half minutes. Go John! Al
Jarreau got people!!

And so it went like that… For 50 short minutes.

Layla Hathaway was just before us, and Heads of State just after.
Lauryn Hill closed out the night– that’s a lot of music in one sitting. Saturation sets in, so you better be big and loud and animated. I danced (oh yeah!) and waved my hand with “Somebody say yo!” and did a little Mick Jagger duck walk, and did a whole lot of singing of high notes and low notes. All this while Chris and Mark kept it solid as a rock though all of that madness. Even changed the songs in the middle of the set on the fly.

We didn’t think John Calderon down front doing a quiet duet with we would work, so we stayed warp speed with boogie down. Whoops! There’s a Jumbotron behind me with a 30 foot face of Al Jarreau. I almost jumped off the stage into the first row. What a wild afternoon. We started at 6 in the sunlight and headed backstage to do photo op by 7. There were a lot of very happy local people, including the promoter and backstage staff who were really happy we had come, and gave a “Great Performance, Al.” I had kidded with the audience earlier, “It was about time you guys invited me- ah don play dat!”

Thank you and congratulations, Miami Gardens! Please do invite me again. We have a lot of lost time to make up for. Thanks for making it a beautiful and wonderful and comfortable Springtime rather than a hot humid August. We loved it.

I hope I didn’t bore you with this stuff that seems to me to be the more interesting aspects of what I and the group do. Also, we welcomed Ryan Adam Jarreau (my son!) to the team for the first time this weekend. He’s now part of our traveling group—Yaaaaaay!

-Al (and God Bless us, every one)

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