‘Moonlight’ actors honored during star-studded Jazz in the Gardens

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Tens of thousands of people from across the country came to the Hard Rock Stadium for the 12th annual Jazz in the Gardens this weekend, and this year’s festivities included a special honor for two of the youngest stars of this year’s made-in-Miami Best Picture Oscar winner.

7News cameras captured acts like rapper and actor Common and up-and-coming singer Andra Day performing to packed crowds.

“I think it’s great,” said attendee SaDe Lewis. “I feel like a lot of this kind of music you can find in Atlanta, and it’s nice to be able to have that in Florida.”

Local residents and visitors headed to the festival for some soul music, R&B and hip-hop.

The hip-hop group The Roots, for instance, got the audience pumped. “We love The Roots,” said concert goer John Little. “House band for The Tonight Show, love it.”

Seeing that band was on Kevin Bayne’s bucket list. “My favorite hip-hop group,” he said. “I love the performance. I love the show. Jazz in the Gardens, it’s amazing.”

“It’s a really good vibe, very relaxed,” said audience member Lataevia Bayne. “Everyone seems like they’re enjoying themselves pretty great.”

Lewis was especially pleased by the weekend’s cool temperatures. “The weather’s great. Can’t get better weather than this,” she said.

Briefly threatening to upstage the festival’s headliners were Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner, two stars from the film “Moonlight,” which won this year’s top prize at the Academy Awards. The critically acclaimed feature also picked up Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor statuettes.

Hibbert and Piner, both students at Norland Middle School, came onstage to receive keys to the City of Miami Gardens.

“It feels amazing, even though I gotta leave soon,” said Hibbert. “Spending some quality time in my hometown feels amazing. Everybody’s congratulating me, and they shouldn’t be congratulating me. They should be congratulating Miami. If it weren’t for Miami, I wouldn’t be here.”

Their drama teacher, Tanisha Cidel, was also awarded a key to the city.

Hibbert said he has already landed his next acting gig and is scheduled to return to Hollywood soon.

When asked what future roles loom in the horizon for him, Piner said, “My manager likes to keep it a secret, until I actually get it.”

For now, both actors are staying humble and enjoying this moment, saying they’re just taking it all in.

Event organizers said this year’s festival brought in close to 100,000 people.

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