The Oregon Zoo continues their Summer Concert Series this Friday with Grammy-nominated guitarist Leo Kottke and ukelele master Jake Shimabukuro. The two musicians are playing a few select dates together in the Pacific Northwest before they continue on their solo world tours.
Leo Kottke’s innovative finger-picking style and unconventional tuning has always put the artist in a special category of musicians. Widely known as a folk artist, Kottke’s influences from blues to jazz meld together naturally with his own unique style. As a result of being pressured to be a singer-songwriter early in his career, Kottke’s baritone vocals are featured on a handful of his early numbers. One would be very lucky to catch the musician singing a song or two at any of his performances.
In the ukelele’s recent resurgence in popularity, 35 year-old Jake Shimabukuro couldn’t be in a better spot. The Hawaiian native was already hailed as a virtuoso of the four-stringed instrument in his 20s. Starting his career playing in local Hawaiian venues and coffee shops, it wasn’t long before Sony Music Japan showed interest in the ukeleleist and things were taken a step further. But it was the now-famous YouTube clip of Shimabukuro playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in Central Park that sent the young musician’s career sky-rocketing.
Come on out for a special performance this Friday evening, June 29, at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. The show begins at 7:00pm. GA tickets are $24.00, reserved seating is $44.00. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the Oregon Zoo.