Richmond’s First Baptist Church will host
singer/songwriter Ken Medema in concert
on Sunday, April 27, at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Tickets are $10 each, and all proceeds from the concert will benefit the
Braille Circulating Library at 2700 Stuart Avenue in Richmond.
Order tickets or donate online. (Click “sign up” and create an account to
access the ticket services.)
For four decades, Ken Medema has inspired people through storytelling and music.
Though blind from birth, Ken sees and hears with heart and mind, custom
designing every musical moment of his performance with brilliant improvisation
that defies description. With an ever-growing circle of followers around the
world, Ken's artistry and imagination have reached audiences of 50 to 50,000
people in 49 United States and in more than 15 countries on four continents.
From the time he was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1943, Ken has been
unable to see with his physical eyes. His sight is limited to distinguishing
between light and darkness and seeing fuzzy outlines of major objects. “As a kid
I was not widely accepted,” he says, “and I spent a lot of time by myself.
Because I have lived with some degree of being different all my life, I have
some sympathy for people who have been disenfranchised, whether they have been
disabled or politically oppressed or whatever.”
Music early became a major component of Medema’s life. “I started banging on the
piano when I was five years old,” he says, “making up crazy little fantasies on
my mom’s piano. When I was eight years old my parents got me a wonderful teacher
who taught me the classics with Braille music and taught me to play by ear.” His
teacher also taught him to improvise. “Every time I learned a piece my teacher
would tell me, ‘Now, you improvise in that style.’ So music became a second
Medema studied music therapy at Michigan State University in Lansing, where he
concentrated heavily on performance skills in piano and voice. He worked as a
music therapist in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and then returned to Michigan State for
a master’s degree.
Today, Medema performs in a widely variety of venues, from local congregations
to charity fund-raisers, to high school and university campuses, to
denominational youth gatherings, to universally televised religious programs, to
corporate conventions, to annual assemblies of national organizations.
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