Double bill of string virtuosos features Leo Kottke and Jake Shimabukuro
There are definitely strings attached to the June 29 concert at the Oregon Zoo ... to the instruments, at least. Friday's show, part of the zoo's summer concert series presented by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon with support from U.S. Bank, will feature the melodic double bill of guitar master Leo Kottke and ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro.
Kottke, a singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar virtuoso, has been making records for more than 40 years, debuting in 1969 with a pair of independent LPs, including the well-known "6- and 12-String Guitar," released on John Fahey's Takoma label. Drawing on folk, blues and jazz, Kottke plays with an innovative finger-picking style that The New York Times has called "a beautiful machine, full of syncopation, sliding and open-string voicings, with small dissonances and backward-sounding phrases."
The Hawaiian-born Shimabukuro, who first took up the ukulele the age of 4, began performing at local Honolulu venues and coffee shops in the late 1990s. Hiscareer took off after a 2006 YouTube video captured his ukulele version of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," performed live in New York's Central Park. The video shows off the dazzling fingerwork Shimabukuro is known for, and has been viewed more than 10.4 million times.
Tickets to see the Kottke and Shimabukuro are $24 and can be purchased at the zoo during normal operating hours. Tickets can also be purchased (with service charge) at all Ticketmaster ticket centers, online at Ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000. Purchase of a concert ticket allows entry into the zoo after 4 p.m; the concert begins at 7 p.m.
The zoo concert series will be showcasing a variety of world-renowned artists from June through September – from blues legend Buddy Guy to hometown heroes Pink Martini to classic-rock favorites Chicago. Other notables this year include Ziggy Marley, Melissa Etheridge, Ladysmith BlackMambazo, k.d. lang and Rosanne Cash. More information and a full schedule.
In 1979, the Oregon Zoo became the first in America to host a summer concert series. Now, the series is one of the top outdoor events in the Northwest, and is the region's longest continuously running outdoor series.
Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts is presented by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon with support from U.S. Bank and media support from The Oregonian.
The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.