RACINE, WI – The Racine Zoo is looking forward to summer, and is excited to announce the artist lineup for the 2019 Animal Crackers Concert Series. Animal Crackers concerts are a Racine tradition that residents have come to enjoy. Make sure to save these dates, invite your friends, grab your folding chairs and enjoy the scenic views of Lake Michigan while listening to some truly amazing artists from across the U.S. and atop the charts.
“I am so excited for the Animal Crackers Concerts this season! We have some amazing artists that will be making music at the Zoo and we want you to join us. This tried and true event at the Zoo gets everyone together for friendship, good food and drinks and more importantly … music,” said Beth Heidorn, Executive Director of the Racine Zoo. “These concerts benefit the Zoo and our animals and are one more great thing to do in Racine.”
Dates are as follows; July 10, July 24, August 7 and August 21. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with concerts beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person for each concert in advance, and are $30 at the gate. Season tickets are on sale for $75. For more information please visit the Racine Zoo website at www.racinezoo.org.
The 2019 season features luminaries in the field of contemporary jazz, gospel, smooth jazz and R&B
This year’s Animal Crackers concert series kicks off on Wednesday, July 10 with the Chicago Tribute Anthology. The Chicago Tribute Anthology is a 7-piece horn band dedicated to performing the music of Chicago, one of the most popular and enduring bands of all time. The unique sound of Chicago defined a generation and changed the sound of popular music forever. See them live and experience their concert set of Chicago’s greatest hits!
Their personnel are all veterans of the Chicago-area musical scene and have performed with notable national and local artists such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, the Hat Guys, Flapjacks, Katie Sullivan, Legacy, the Four Man Acoustical Band, Farewell, Deja Groove, Bill Russo and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Take 5, The Dana Legg Big Band, Woody Herman Orchestra, Fanfare, the Fox Valley Concert Band, and many other of the area’s finest musicians and ensembles.
On Wednesday, July 24, Lin Rountree aka ‘The Soul-Trumpeter’, will take the stage at the Racine Zoo. Rountree is an accomplished recording artist, producer and live performer. He’s had six solo projects, 12 chart-topping Billboard singles and numerous collaborations with some of the industry’s top R&B/Contemporary Jazz artists. Rountree and his music represent a new direction in instrumental soul. A polished songwriter, producer and recording artist, an outstanding live performer, a consummate professional, and a thankful musician, Rountree is a leader amongst a new generation of Soul-Jazz artists.
Lin began playing the trumpet in Alexandria, VA. when he was just 11 years old and frequently attended music development programs at The Duke Ellington School for performing arts in Washington DC. Upon his graduation from High School, Lin was recruited into the Music program at Florida A&M University where he performed with the famed Marching 100’ under the direction of William P. Foster and Dr. Julian White. Shortly thereafter Lin entered into the lifelong Brotherhood of the OMEGA PSI PHI Fraternity Inc. Likewise, the school is also where he started to develop a deep appreciation for Jazz music and began studying some of its masters and cites trumpeters: Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and Tom Browne as huge influences on both his playing and writing styles.
Next up on the Animal Crackers stage on Wednesday, August 7 is performer Jazmin Ghent, who is one of the hottest national smooth jazz and gospel recording artists today. According to Euge Groove, “She provides much needed real deal youth in the genre. She definitely knows how to bring on the “Heat”. She has two Billboard topping singles, “Heat” and “Compared to What” and has recorded 3 CDs. “Heat” remained on Billboard charts for over 20 weeks. Jazmin has performed at various major festivals throughout the country and in Europe. Jazmin was voted “2017’s Best New Smooth Jazz Artist”. In addition to performing, she teaches music in Polk County, Florida to elementary students in grades K–5.
According to Art Good of Catalina Island’s JazzTrax festival, “Unknown Jazmin Ghent was one of the best FINDS the festival has ever uncovered. Obviously … she OUTSOLD all 30 stars of smooth jazz in the JazzTrax store, selling more CDs than anyone. She had stage presence, a show and she could play!”
The 2019 Animal Crackers season finale belongs to Nick Colionne on Wednesday, August 21. Colionne has been creating provocative album titles that give insight into his current musical state of mind. Colionne has done it all in his multifaceted career. He’s mastered the art of Keepin’ It Cool, transcended musical boundaries to explore realms where there are No Limits, fired up his thousands of worldwide fans with Feel the Heat, and dug deep into his musical soul to share some of his deepest jazz and R&B Influences.
While keeping up his whirlwind pace of 75-plus shows per year as one of the genre’s most tireless and explosive live performers, he made history with his 2016 collection The Journey – becoming the only artist in the history of the format to score five consecutive number one singles on the Billboard Smooth Jazz National Airplay and Smooth Jazz Songs charts from a single album. His 2018 Trippin’ ‘N’ Rhythm album is Just Being Me; its lead single is “Be Urself,” produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis has already climbed to the top of the charts.
About the Racine Zoo
Nestled along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, the Racine Zoo is open year round. Current hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. General admission rates are as follows:
- Members and children two and younger: free
- Children three years to 15 years: $6
- Seniors: $7
- Adults: $8