Newspaper article

Trombone Shorty, Chaka Khan in Music in the Zoo Lineup; 'Follies' Opens at Artistry

Newspaper article

Trombone Shorty, Chaka Khan in Music in the Zoo Lineup; 'Follies' Opens at Artistry

Article excerpt

Who knew a zoo could be a great concert venue? Never mind that you’re sitting outdoors on concrete bleachers, that it can get buggy, that you might hear a tiger as you make your way from the parking lot to the Weesner Family Amphitheater at the Minnesota Zoo. This whole Music in the Zoo thing has been working for more than a quarter of a century. This will be the 26th season. Long may it roar.

A moment to remember last year’s lineup, which included Herbie Hancock.

Here are some highlights of what this summer will bring.

Season openers Los Lonely Boys (June 2), reliably crowd-pleasing. Two nights (June 15-16) of Trombone Shorty, the NOLA-born singer, songwriter, horn-blower and now Blue Note recording artist. This will be Shorty’s fourth (and fifth) Zoo appearance since 2010. Blues great and four-time Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ (June 23). Bluesman/rocker Jonny Lang (June 27), who released his first platinum record at 15 (that was 21 years ago). Blues great and Music in the Zoo regular Buddy Guy (June 28). R&B queen and 17-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan (June 29).

And that’s just June. July brings Black Violin (July 2), the duo of Wil Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester, who last brought their signature mix of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and bluegrass – all played on violin – to the Ordway. Mary Chapin Carpenter returns (July 13). Rufus Wainwright, who made his Zoo debut in 2012 and made Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Manny Laureano mad last December at Orchestra Hall, will also be back (July 28).

Music in the Zoo lasts all summer long. Moving into August, we’ll see Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Marc Cohn of “Walking in Memphis” fame (Aug. 10). Bring the kids for the Okee Dokee Brothers (Aug. 19). Michael Franti & Spearhead wowed a Jazz Fest crowd a couple years back (Aug. 25). And because summer and reggae just go together, Ziggy Marley will grace the Weesner stage again (Aug. 27).

See the whole lineup here. More concerts will be announced later. All shows begin t 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 21 at 11 a.m.

The picks

Opens tonight at Urban Growler: “Trojan Women.” Euripides’ classic tragedy, staged in a brewery by Mission Theatre Company. The city of Troy has been sacked, the men have been killed, the women are looking at lives of slavery. Andy Browers directs a play that asks “When men make a mess of things, who suffers the cost? What happens when those in power dictate our fates?” Have we really been asking those questions for 2,433 years? 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($15-40 sliding scale, $10 students; Wednesdays are pay-what-you-can). Closes April 28.

Two new releases from our area jazz label Shifting Paradigm Records:

1. Saturday at the Black Dog: Fire Bell: “Incendios” CD Release. …

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