Maria LoVullo — an art teacher, local fixture in Acadiana and wife of musician Jonno Frishberg — was recently diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. The couple and their two children were featured in The Independent's February 2006 cover story about transplants to Acadiana who had left New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina. The family has since returned to New Orleans but retains ties established here long before the storms of 2005.

Local musicians are banding together to help the family offset its mounting medical expenses. Performers for Jonno & Maria’s Family Benefit will include (in order of appearance) Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Choupique, Nouveau String Band, Drew Landry, Lucky Playboys, David Egan, Charivari, Celjun, Black String Band, Lafayette Rhythm Devils, and Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys. The benefit takes place Jan. 11 at the Blue Moon Saloon, beginning at noon. Admission is $10 at the door. Donations will be accepted, and there will also be a silent auction and gumbo.

Donations can also be made directly to Maria LoVullo and sent to her attention at 4468 Arts St., New Orleans, La., 70122.

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