People come together to celebrate jazz at Miami downtown festival

Locals and tourists gathered to watch and listen to a diverse group of jazz bands perform Thursday afternoon at Bayside Marketplace.

WDNA 88.FM, a South Florida radio station, held its third annual Miami Downtown Jazz Festival. According to a WDNA worker, the main goal of the festival was to display various types of jazz music, from different musicians, to honor the genre.

Magela Herrera, a Latin jazz vocalist and flute player, explained during her set how her experiences from living and traveling in different parts of the world have contributed to many of her songs. It helps people from all over the world connect with her and with the songs she performs, she said.

Winfil Gomez, a local who walked by the festival, said he had no idea there were different types of jazz music.

“I don’t hate jazz; I just never found any type of connection to it,” he said. “But after coming here today and hearing these bands perform songs that remind me of growing up in the Dominican Republic, I’m really interested to hear more.”

Jerry Shaw, a musician attending the event, said people need to realize the genre plays a part in a lot of music we enjoy in our everyday lives.

“It is important that people, especially younger generations, know that a lot of the artists we love to listen to receive some of their inspiration from jazz music,“ he said. “Even rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Tyler the Creator have songs that were influenced by the genre.”

Chelsea De Silva, a student at FIU, said she thought it was great that parents brought their kids to the festival, remembering how jazz played an important role in her life as she grew up.

“When I was little I was scared of the dark so my mom would play jazz music on this tiny radio we had and I would be able to fall asleep,” she said. “Since then jazz music has been able to help me through any rough time in my life.”

Caplin News Contributor