Iris DeMent to perform at Doudna

Hannah Shillo, Associate News Editor

Fans of Americana music will have the opportunity to attend an Iris DeMent show on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Dvorak Concert Hall of the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for senior citizens aged 62 years or older and $10 for students.

For the 2019-2020 performance year, Doudna is offering a special ticket promotion where the first 50 students could get in for free.

All students must do for a complimentary ticket is bring their panther cards to the box office.

Complimentary tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tickets can be purchased at or at the box office, which will be open Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.

Dan Crews, director of programming, publicity and promotion at Doudna, said DeMent is a prolific songwriter who is well-known in the Americana folk genre and is well-respected just as much.

As one of Doudna’s premiere events, Crews said the DeMent show is somewhat of a rare opportunity, as this is DeMent’s only stop in Illinois for her current tour.

He said everyone will benefit from attending this event because they will get to see how much passion DeMent has put into her work.

“She’s kind of like a musician’s musician” Crews said. “She is widely respected for her craft.”

DeMent received the Americana Trailblazer Award from the Americana Music Association in 2017 for using her voice and songwriting craft to address political topics through her work.

The Americana Music Association defined Americana music as: “contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw.”

DeMent, who has six studio albums, delivered her most recent album, “The Trackless Woods,” after reading an anthology of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova’s.

The album consists of 18 of those same Akhmatova poems, only DeMent added the melody to them.

DeMent said the melodies appeared in her head while reading the first four or five poems, according to the biography on her website.

“I don’t think there’s any getting around that the music was already in the poems,” she said.

DeMent’s music style includes folk, country and gospel elements.

Since beginning her music career in 1991, DeMent has earned herself two Grammy nominations.

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].