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VIRTUAL EVENT – French Fiddle Tunes and Tall Tales presented by Dennis Stroughmatt

October 11, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm CDT

About the presentation:
Beginning in 1699 with the building of villages like Cahokia and Kaskaskia along the Mississippi River, French colonists from Western France and Quebec would merge with the native populations of modern-day Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana to create a Creole culture that is still unique from its cousins in Louisiana and Canada today. As this early Illinois population grew through the 18th century and changed the Illinois landscape to one with a distinct French flavor, it would eventually leave its legacy through not only town names and land marks, but also songs, language, stories, food, and even the first lieutenant governor of Illinois, Pierre Menard. Via 300 hundred year old traditions like the annual “La Guillannee” French New Year tradition, and “Le Mardi Gras,” this exciting program will take the listener on a fascinating trip through The Illinois Country from both a historical and cultural perspective, highlighting the enduring French identity of places like Prairie du Rocher and Cahokia through ancient French folktales, haunting ballads, and foot stomping fiddle tunes.
About the presenter:
From the Wabash River region of southeastern Illinois, Dennis Stroughmatt was taught to play fiddle by a mixture of tradition bearing stylists including southeast Missouri French Creole fiddlers Roy Boyer and Charlie Pashia in the tradition of their fathers and the southern Illinois Western Swing fiddle legend Wade Ray. He became an adopted son of the French Midwest Creoles who settled near St. Louis and Cahokia by playing at weekly house parties or “bouillons” and later made journeys that have included studies in Louisiana, Quebec, and Tennessee. Dennis finds himself in a unique position as one who can speak knowledgeably of and play in a variety of French Creole and Old-time Western musical styles. With a master’s in history from SIU-Carbondale and a Certificate of French Quebecois Studies from The University of Quebec, Dennis is not only a musician but a passionate educator who entertains and teaches his audiences at the same time. Speaking engagements, residencies and performances include The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, The Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center, The Missouri Folklore Society, and Festival Acadian in Lafayette, LA.
Watch for this event to be posted on our YouTube channel!


October 11, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm CDT


Virtual Event