LL Cool J

LL Cool J will perform Sunday at Jazz in the Gardens. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images / March 2, 2014)

Hip-hop and R&B fans won't want to miss this weekend's Jazz in the Gardens, where Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J and Kelly Rowland will headline a bill filled with younger artists and local bands.

Saturday's lineup includes performances by the Uniir Band, Jay Jones, Boney James, Mint Condition, Rowland, Trey Songz and Foxx. On Sunday, LL Cool J will perform along with Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, Anthony Hamilton, Stanley Clarke, Rachelle Ferrell and Melton Mustafa Jr.

Comedian D.L. Hughley, one of the "The Original Kings of Comedy," will host the event. So along with the cool tunes, expect to hear some jokes, too.

Although the bigger acts tend to go onstage in the evening (Foxx is slated to perform at 10:30 p.m. Saturday), the festival, which is in its ninth year, tends to be an all-day affair. Many people bring lawn chairs, umbrellas and blankets to secure a good spot on the grass. Doors will open at 3 p.m.


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Bring an appetite, as there will be more than 50 food stations including chefs from Reed and Sons, Kingston Delight, CuzN Tim's Seafood Shack, and Randy's BBQ. They'll be cooking everything from conch salad to spicy jerk chicken.

Over the years, the festival has brought in some big-name musicians, many of who don't often tour. Last year, Babyface, New Edition and Fantasia were among the headliners.

This year's biggest surprise may come during the performance by the Academy Award- and Grammy-winning Jamie Foxx. Will he rap? Play piano (a la Ray Charles)? Sing? Make us laugh? All the above? Foxx is known for bringing pretty girls onstage with him, so if you fit the bill, try to secure a spot close to the stage.

Rowland, of Destiny's Child fame, has had her share of hit singles sans Beyonce. Expect to hear the former "X Factor" judge sing her hits "Motivation," "Dilemma" and "Dirty Laundry."

It's hard to believe that LL Cool J released his debut album, "Radio," 28 years ago. The rapper and actor, known for songs such as "Mama Said Knock You Out" and "I Need Love," can still put on a show without having to use fancy props or Auto-Tune, proving that ladies still love "Cool James."

Sexy R&B singer Trey Songz, who is fond of performing shirtless, is expected to perform an hour-long set. He's known for his top-charting songs "Bottoms Up," "Heart Attack" and "Can't Be Friends." The weather forecast calls for a high in the 70s. Here's hoping his six-pack abs make an appearance.

The festival will kick off on 9 p.m Friday with a party starring Doug E. Fresh at the Turf Club inside the Calder Racetrack and Casino, 21001 NW 27th Ave., in Miami Gardens. Tickets cost $45-$55.

mhood@southflorida.com, @micaelahood

Jazz in the Gardens

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16

Where: Sun Life Stadium, 2269 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens

Cost: Tickets start at $50.

Contact: JazzInTheGardens.com