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Zoofari features feast, Robert Randolph & The Family Band

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Robert Randolph 1 AP 2013

Funk/Soul pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph and The Family Band are performing Saturday, November 2, at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa as part of Zoofari. Here's Randolph performing in concert at Terminal West on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, in Atlanta, Ga. (Photo by Dan Harr/Invision/AP Images)

OK, so animals are not exhibited during Zoofari. But Saturday's fundraising feast at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo will get wild, trust me, when Robert Randolph & The Family Band bring its nationwide Lickety Split tour to the TD Bank Main Stage. Randolph and his cohorts have a special gift for getting people to completely lose it in the best way possible.  But let's start with the food, because a sampling safari of flavors from the many of Tampa Bay's restaurants, and, oh yes, open bars, are the official main attractions at Zoofari.

Returning favorites confirmed for the 27th annual event include BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Blondie’s Cookies, Brunchery Restaurant & Catering, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Centre Club, Chantilly Cakes, EVOS, First Watch, Kona Grill, Longhorn Steakhouse, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Papa John’s Pizza, Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, Texas de Brazil, Tijuana Flats Burrito Company, Timpano Chophouse, Yacht Starship and more. Zoofari guests will also be introduced to several newcomers: Little Greek Restaurant, Louis Pappas Market Café, McAlister’s Deli, PCI Bar & Grill, Shells Seafood and Water Works Bar & Grill.

And now for some more on Robert Randolph & The Family Band. I've seen this act led by sacred steel guitarist Randolph perform several times -- and they've all been special -- since the group's landmark debut release "Live at the Wetlands" came out in 2002. Deftly blending gospel, rock, funk and soul, Randolph and his fellow musicians make it nearly impossible not to get lost in the bouncy grooves and overall positivity emanating from the stage. As for musicianship, Randolph is easily among the best guitarists of his generation and with the release of "Lickety Split" in July, the group finally has a studio album that matches its famed live performances.

Shaun Hopper, Soul Circus Cowboys, The Mud Flappers, Rebecca Zapen and Beth McKee, who I recently interviewed to advance her performance in Sarasota, are also scheduled to perform.

Zoofari featuring Robert Randolph & The Family Band
6 p.m. (VIP Rhino Club members) 7 p.m. (general admission) Saturday; Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave,, Tampa; $75, $135 (VIP Rhino Club); 935-8552; LowryParkZoo.com.

Zoofari featuring Robert Randolph & The Family Band
6 p.m. (VIP Rhino Club members) 7 p.m. (general admission) Saturday; Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave,, Tampa; $75, $135 (VIP Rhino Club); 935-8552; LowryParkZoo.com.

Wade_Tatangelo_by_Mike_Lang_HT_06212013 Wade Tatangelo has been an entertainment reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: November 4, 2013
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