Songwriting legend John Prine kicks off the zoo's 35th year of summer concerts
On June 22, Portland becomes Prineville for a day — or at least the Oregon Zoo does — when folk songwriting legend John Prine drops by to kick off the zoo's 35th season of outdoor summer concerts.
Prine, one of America's most revered singer-songwriters, has built a devoted following for his humble, poetic tunes that peek into often-overlooked corners of everyday life. "He writes beautiful songs," Bob Dylan said in a 2009 interview. "Nobody but Prine could write like that."
In a career spanning more than 40 years, the singer has won a pair of Grammys while earning kudos — and cover versions — from artists such as Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Ben Harper and Joan Baez.
Prine's most recent release, 2011's "The Singing Mailman Delivers," is a two-disc archival set featuring studio and live recordings dating back to 1970. These tracks reveal a young Prine, honest and unassuming, writing lyrics on his mail route by day while moonlighting as a folk singer in Chicago's nightclubs.
Vancouver, B.C.-based roots rocker Dustin Bentall opens the show, backed by fiddle player Kendel Carson.
The Oregon Zoo's 2013 summer concert series starts with Prine on June 22 and winds up with the Doobie Brothers in early September. Along the way, concertgoers can catch the Go-Go's (on a double bill with the B-52s), Ziggy Marley, Indigo Girls, Randy Newman, Lyle Lovett, Los Lobos, Chris Isaak, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Brice, and Huey Lewis and the News. For more information and a full schedule, visit zooconcerts.com.
In a new offering this year, concert tickets will be good for zoo admission all day on the date of the show. Concerts begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted; not every show has an opening act, so fans should make sure to arrive on time to make sure they don't miss part of the show.
Later this spring, officials will announce the entertainment schedule for Sunset at the Zoo, the popular evening series that debuted last summer as an expansion of the zoo's traditional Wednesday concerts. Free for zoo members, Sunset at the Zoo is presented by Banfield Pet Hospital and offers a feel-good festival vibe, with live music from local artists, family-friendly activities and the chance to get to know animals that are active during twilight hours. Sunset at the Zoo events take place every other Wednesday in July and August, starting July 10.
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.
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.
Hova Najarian | 503-220-5714 | email@example.com