Veteran soul siren Chaka Khan and retro-sounding soul men St. Paul & the Broken Bones are the enticing first-timers at the Minnesota Zoo concert series this summer.
Other new-to-the zoo acts include jazzy new wave hero Joe Jackson, hip-hop/classical duo Black Violin and indie rockers Gomez, who were buzzing in the ‘00s.
The lineup includes local heroes the Jayhawks, Jonny Lang and the Okee Dokee Brothers, the Grammy-winning kids duo.
As always, the roster is heavy on zoo perennials including Los Lonely Boys, Buddy Guy, Keb Mo, George Thorogood, Ziggy Marley, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jerry Jeff Walker, Pat Benatar, Yonder Mountain String Band and Marc Cohn, who will be making his 932nd appearance at the zoo’s amphitheater.
A few repeaters are not frequent Minnesota Zoo giggers, namely Renaissance man Rufus Wainwright and southern rockers Blackberry Smoke.
There will be 32 concerts at the 1,500 seat Weesner Family Amphitheater, with two zoo favorites – the terrific dance-inducing Mavericks from Nashville and New Orleans funk-jazz party king Trombone Shorty – each playing two nights.
Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. on April 21 at suemclean.com, etix.com and 800-514-3849. Prices vary. Okee Dokees are $24-$36.50. Chaka Khan tickets run from $75 to $103.50.
Here is the full lineup. Opening acts to be announced later.
June 2 Los Lonely Boys; June 12 Pat Benatar & Neil Geraldo; June 15-16 Trombone Shorty; June 17 Gomez; June 20 Xavier Rudd; June 23 Keb Mo; June 24 George Thorogood; June 27 Jonny Lang; June 28 Buddy Guy; June 29 Chaka Khan.
July 2 Black Violin; July 3 Yonder Mountain String Band; July 11 St. Paul and the Broken Bones; July 13 Mary Chapin Carpenter; July 15 Jayhawks; July 23 Joe Jackson; July 25 Guster; July 28 Rufus Wainwright.
Aug. 4 Jerry Jeff Walker; Aug. 10 Marc Cohn; Aug. 11-12 the Mavericks; Aug. 13 Son Volt; Aug. 14 Blackberry Smoke; Aug. 19 Okee Dokee Brothers; Aug. 25 Michael Franti; Aug. 27 Ziggy Marley.