Rock Royalty Nancy Wilson, Liv Warfield, Slash to Headline LA Zoo Beastly Ball Concert for Conservation
Rock super group Roadcase Royale's Nancy Wilson, one of the founding members of legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Heart, and Liv Warfield, former Prince's New Power Generation band member/R&B singer, join rock icon Slash, renowned pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, the L.A. All-Star Band led by Music Director Martin Guigui, and others to headline an extraordinary "Concert For Conservation" at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association BEASTLY BALL on Saturday, May 19, 2018, 5:30 pm, at the L.A. Zoo, a leader in the preservation of some of the world's most critically endangered species and their habitats. Showcasing the enormous impact the Zoo has on animal conservation both locally and internationally, this year's signature fundraiser takes place on the heels of national Endangered Species Day to underscore the Zoo's commitment to saving animals from extinction. The Ball honors animal expert/conservationist Jack Hanna and features a rare after-hours stroll through the Zoo with special animal experiences, including animal feedings, keeper chats and up close interactions; the debut of a conservation mural by artist/Beautify Earth Co-Founder Ruben Rojas; bountiful fare from some of L.A.'s most popular restaurants; a mobile-bidding silent auction and more. Guests are invited to dress in "safari casual" attire. Honorary Chair Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, is joined by Honorary Committee members Slash, Lance Bass, Jackie Chan, Heather Mycoskie and Pauley Perrette. Beastly Ball Chair is GLAZA Trustee Tyler Kelley. Considered the "wildest" party in town, the Ball has been lauded as "one of the best parties in Los Angeles" (KCBS/KCAL TV News) and "one the most important fund-raisers" (Los Angeles Times).
"In a time of rapid global species loss and disappearing habitats, the leadership role that the L.A. Zoo takes to safeguard wildlife while educating people and connecting them with nature has never been more important," says Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) President Connie Morgan. "With the Beastly Ball, our biggest fundraiser, GLAZA continues our more than 50 years of support for the Zoo's local and global work in conservation and education."
L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis adds, "As Connie says, connecting people with wildlife is one of the Zoo's important obligations. And an effective way to do just that is through storytelling. That is why I am so glad we are recognizing Jack Hanna at this year's Beastly Ball. Though his stories and shared experiences he has connected millions of people with the beauty and wonder of wildlife and the challenges they face."
Hanna receives the prestigious Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award, joining previous honorees the National Geographic Society (2017), actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. (2016), entertainer/philanthropist Lance Bass (2015), entertainment industry attorney Ken Ziffren (2014), actresses Pauley Perrette (2013) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (2012) and Slash, a GLAZA Trustee (2011). Hanna's hands-on approach has won him widespread acclaim as Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds, conservationist, author, television personality, and lifelong adventurer. Recognized around the country as America's favorite zookeeper, he is host of TV's Emmy award winning Jack Hanna's Into the Wild and Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown. The award he'll receive was established in memory of former GLAZA Chairman Tom Mankiewicz, a beloved and highly regarded film and television writer and director. Mankiewicz, who passed away in 2010, was associated with such films as Superman, Diamonds Are Forever and Live and Let Die, and the Hart to Hart television series, among many others. He championed the cause of saving and protecting wildlife and the environment through education and on-the-ground conservation. He also promoted the Zoo's universal appeal and its accessibility as a gathering place for all in Los Angeles' diverse communities.
"I am honored to be receiving the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award at the Beastly Ball this year," says Hanna. "Over the last 40+ years, I've been lucky to spend my career working to inspire others to care about wildlife - but the work I've done is in large part due to the inspiration I gained early in my career from places like the L.A. Zoo. I'm looking forward to celebrating the amazing work being done in Los Angeles and beyond."
Featured muralist Ruben Rojas, whose animal conservation mural will be debuted at the Beastly Ball, is an artist, social impact entrepreneur, and co-founder of Beautify Earth who is influenced by media and the urban landscape. A native Angeleno, Rojas has painted in New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, France, and for many private clients. He has received commissions from brands such as Zappos, American Express, Heineken, Lululemon, Reebok, Westfield Malls and GT Kombucha as well as from the cities of Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Los Angeles.
The mobile-bidding silent auction - also open to those who can't attend in person -- is comprised of hundreds of remarkable items, and Auctioneer Billy Harris leads a live auction with one-of-a-kind opportunities. Among the silent and live auction items are an original painting created for the Zoo by Ruben Rojas, combined with an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience at Elephants of Asia; a fabulous vacation stay in the treehouse room at Playa Viva, a luxury environmentally-conscious resort, located near Zihuatanejo, Mexico; an LAPD Air Support ride-along; sports experiences in L.A. Clippers and L.A. Dodgers suites; VIP tickets to tapings of "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Jeopardy!"; and much more.
Among the iconic restaurants donating their services for dinner are Antonio's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Barrel & Ashes, Bottlefish, Celestino Ristorante, Delicious Arts, El Cholo - Los Angeles, El Coyote Mexican Café, The Federal Bar, Jersey Mike's Subs, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Malbec Argentinian Cuisine, Milk and Eggs, Momed, Red O, Simmzy's, Smoke House Restaurant, Sugar Babies Cupcakery, Taix French Restaurant, Taste Of The Wild Catering at the Los Angeles Zoo and Thug Kitchen.
Nancy Wilson, one of the founding members of the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group Heart, has teamed up with former Prince's New Power Generation band member and R&B singer Liv Warfield to form the soulful, rock super group, Roadcase Royale. The band, which Rolling Stone says "...builds a funky, nimble groove, led by Warfield's soulful belting and the acoustic/electric guitar attack of Wilson..." recently released their debut album, First Things First. In addition to Wilson (guitar) and Warfield (vocals), Roadcase Royale features Ryan Waters (lead guitarist) along with Heart members Chris Joyner (keys), Dan Rothchild (bass), and Ben Smith (drums).
Slash, the iconic American rock guitarist, songwriter and film producer, has amassed album sales of over 100 million copies, garnered a Grammy Award and seven Grammy nominations and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Time magazine recently named Slash #2, behind Jimi Hendrix, on its "Ten Best Electric Guitar Players of All-Time" list. In addition to being a rock legend, Slash is also a long-time supporter and Trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.
Robert Randolph, pedal steel guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, is leader of Robert Randolph and the Family Band and an inspiration to the likes of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Derek Trucks, all of whom have played with him and studied his technique. When Randolph discovered rock, funk, soul, jazz and the jam band scene, he forged his own sound by fusing elements of those genres. The band's first album, 2002's Live at the Wetlands, was recorded at the now defunct jam band haven, and was followed by four studio albums and another live set, each widening the band's audience. The Grammy-nominated Got Soul is the band's label debut for Sony Masterworks, and Randolph is on the road this spring and summer with new music on the way.
All Star Band Music Director Martin Guigui is an award winning filmmaker, composer, executive producer and Grammy nominated music producer/engineer. He has worked with some of Hollywood's biggest stars including Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Daryl Hall, Lyle Lovett, Jose Feliciano, Smokey Robinson, David Byrne, Richie Sambora and many others. The L.A. All-Stars, one of the premiere back up bands, has a rotating cast of monster musicians including Kenny Aronoff, Carmine Rojas, Tal Bergman, Mike Merritt, Joe Sublett, Phil Lo Presti, John Burk, Scott Page, to name a few. The All-Stars have backed most top artists in every genre and performed at major events, network and cable shows. Among the band members for the Beastly Ball are stellar bassist Mike Merritt, who has been the backbone of the Conan O'Brien Show Band for 25 years, and has performed with major artists including Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and others; legendary sax man Joe Sublett, anchor of the Texicali Horns, who has played with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Taj Mahal, Little Feat and The Rolling Stones and more; and Phil Lopresti, the versatile eclectic guitarist who has played with Billy Gibbons, Jose Feliciano, Allman Brothers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lyle Lovett and Richie Sambora, to name a few.
The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, of which more than 60 are endangered or critically endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world's most critically endangered species and their habitats. The Zoo's many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats.
The Zoo's lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter and face-to-face Giraffe Feedings; the Winnick Family Children's Zoo and Muriel's Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more.
The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 61,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo's popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.
Beastly Ball tickets are $1,500 per person, with individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities at higher levels also available. The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles' Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Free parking is available. For tickets, information about mobile bidding and additional information, call (323) 644-9105. www.lazoo.org/beastlyball
Photo Credit: Laura Stegman