Medicine Show 2022 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the concert series.
The show will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 22, in UL Lafayette’s Angelle Hall. Musicians will include University student ensembles, faculty members and an all-star “Friends of Medicine Show” performance led by Sonny Landreth. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the University’s Traditional Music program.
Other artists include the Angelle Aces, Zydeco Ragin’ Steppers, Saint Street Songsters, Ragin’ & Blues Band and Vermilion Express. Each of those music ensembles has emerged as a result of the Traditional Music program in the University’s School of Music and Performing Arts.
Medicine Show 2022 will be the 16th concert in a series that was started as a way to permanently memorialize Dr. Tommy Comeaux’s legacy. The Lafayette pathologist and Grammy-nominated musician was struck and killed by a vehicle while cycling in November 1997.
After Comeaux’s death, a group of his friends approached the UL Lafayette Foundation to discuss how to establish an endowed chair in traditional music at the University. To make that happen would require raising $600,000; that amount would then be matched by $400,000 in state funds to create a $1 million endowment.
To raise funds, the group quickly organized the first medicine show, which was held in December 1997. They reached their goal in 2007, just before the 11th medicine show was held. UL Lafayette’s Dr. Mark DeWitt became the inaugural holder of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Chair in Traditional Music.
The University’s bachelor of arts degree concentration in traditional music followed. DeWitt leads the program. It enables musicians who learn by ear to hone their craft in styles such as Cajun, zydeco and bluegrass; to develop an academic foundation; and to become advocates for folk and traditional arts.
“It’s the only program of its kind in the state and, while there are a couple of dozen programs around the country that focus on traditional music of some kind, we’re pretty much the only one that teaches Cajun and zydeco,” DeWitt explained.
General admission tickets to Medicine Show 2022 are $10. Tickets to attend the show and a post-concert reception are $25. UL Lafayette students and faculty and staff members can attend the concert for free by presenting their University ID cards. Learn more about the show or how to buy tickets.
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