One of Thailand’s Most Famous Western Performers Returns to Scranton

Oct 24, 2008

Todd Lavelle, The University of Scranton graduate whose Fulbright fellowship first took him to Thailand and led to his subsequent successful career as a popular musician, writer and television personality in Thailand, will return to Scranton for a performance on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Amphitheater on the Dionne Campus Green. Entitled “Todd Lavelle and Thailand’s Himmapan: a Cultural and Musical Journey through the Kingdom of Thailand,” the performance features musicians, instruments, dancers and a video presentation of rarely seen areas of Thailand. (Himmapans are mythical creatures that exist only in Asian legends.)

Scranton is just one of the stops on his U.S. tour that is being presented by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The Scranton performance, which is offered free of charge and open to the public, is sponsored by International Programs and Services Office of The University of Scranton.

Considered to be one of the most famous Western faces in Thailand, Lavelle is commonly called “Thongdee” (which translates to “good gold”) by the Thai people. He has performed throughout the country, appeared in numerous television shows and released about a dozen albums. His albums have reached the top of Thailand’s music charts. His music and performances are as educational as they are entertaining, as he often serves as an ambassador for ideas and causes as well as cultural awareness.

This U.S. tour follows Lavelle’s recent Rhythm of the Earth Music Festival in Thailand.

A musician and a scholar, Lavelle earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and Asian history from The University of Scranton in 1985. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to study at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, where he researched the ethno-pharmacy of Thailand’s traditional medicines and herbs. He has published several papers on political history.

Lavelle is a native of Scranton.

For additional information about the Oct. 27 performance, contact The University of Scranton at 941-4841.

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