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Racine Zoo Jazzed About 2013 Animal Crackers Concert Series Line Up | Events

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Racine Zoo Jazzed About 2013 Animal Crackers Concert Series Line Up
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RACINE (WITI) --  The Racine Zoological Society is pleased to announce the musical line up for the 2013 Animal Crackers Concert Series presented by SC Johnson with additional sponsors including Johnson Bank, and Design Partners Incorporated. This year’s series hosts four shows on Wednesday nights in July and August at the Kiwanis Memorial Amphitheatre on the Racine Zoo campus located at 2131 North Main Street.  The 27th Animal Crackers season presents a diverse collection of artists including: Davina and the Vagabonds, Tierney Sutton Band, Jazz Funk Soul featuring Jeff Lorber and Everett Hart, and Nelson Rangell.

“To say we are ‘jazzed’ about this year’s line up is an understatement,” exclaimed Jay R. Christie, president and CEO of the Racine Zoo.  “We have some incredible talent lined up and look forward to an entertaining series along the shores of Lake Michigan.”

Davina and the Vagabonds will open the series on July 10. This unique band is known as being the busiest band in the Twin Cities because of their hard-working professionalism, high-energy stage performance, and original sound. A combination of Blues, Jazz, Dixieland, and Ragtime, the band averages more than 300 performance dates per year.                                                                                           

Davina and the Vagabonds have shared the stage with: Pinetop Perkins, Aaron Neville, Gary Moore, 10 Years After, The Mannish Boys, Robert Cray, Los Lonely Boys, Scottie “Bones” Miller, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Ana Popovic, Booker T and The MGs, Bobby Rush, Irma Thomas, James Hunter, Bobbie Blue Bland, Willie Big Eyes Smith, and many others.

On July 24 Tierney Sutton Band will perform. A three-time Grammy nominee for “Best Jazz Vocal Album,” Tierney Sutton is often described as “a singer’s singer,” but just as often, she is described as a “musician’s singer,” who uses her voice like an instrument.  She has fronted the Tierney Sutton Band, which includes stellar partners, pianist Christian Jacob, drummer Ray Brinker and bassists Kevin Axt and Trey Henry, for more than 20 years. Popular songs include "Am I Wrong (For Lovin' You)," "Friendly Pressure" and "Hypnotic Love".

The third installment of the series will host Jazz Funk Soul featuring Jeff Lorber and Everett Harp on August 7. Philly-born Jeff Lorber, the groundbreaking leader of the pioneering Jeff Lorber Fusion will deliver the fresh vibes and funky grooves he’s best known for.                             

The legendary keyboardist and composer played a significant role in developing the R&B-Jazz hybrid sound that later evolved into today's smooth Jazz. Lorber is a true elder statesman of the genre and mentor to many of this generation's top artists. He keeps his soulful momentum going, collaborating brilliantly on Pop, Jazz, R&B and Blues-influenced tracks as a much in demand producer with a string of notable artists such as Gerald Albright, Eric Marienthal, Richard Elliot and David Benoit tapping his behind-the-board talents.

Houston born sax powerhouse, Everette Harp, is a bona fide star in the contemporary Jazz genre. Raised in church and weaned on Gospel and Soul music, Harp’s playing is forceful and emotive combining dynamic funk edges and urban textures in the mix. One can hear everyone from Junior Walker to Grover Washington, Jr., Cannonball Adderley, and David Sanborn in his style. Harp’s talent is undeniable. As smooth jazz artists began incorporating classic R&B grooves into the music, Everette Harp found himself ahead of the curve. His popular tribute to Marvin Gaye's watershed album What's Going On combined the best of his two worlds, contemporary Jazz and the classic Soul he grew up with. 

Premiere contemporary saxophonist and flutist Nelson Rangell headlines the closing concert of the Series on August 21. Rangell is best known for his contemporary/pop and smooth jazz formats featuring soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as flute and piccolo.  Rangell is well known on national and international music stages and has released 15 CDs since 1989 such as Soul to Souls, Turning Night into Day, and Destiny.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with concerts beginning at 7:00 p.m. Season tickets are on sale now and are $60.  As part of our special Mother’s Day promotion, purchase season tickets for a reduced rate of $50 May 1 to May 31.

Per city ordinance, no alcohol beverage carry-ins are permitted to be brought into concerts. Any bags or coolers brought into the Zoo will be searched. Food and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, can be purchased at the concerts with a portion of all purchases benefiting the Zoo.

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