French Fiddle Tunes and Tall Tales: The French Creole Story

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Program Description


Fiddler and cultural historian Dennis Stroughmatt became acquainted with the historically French Creole community of Old Mines, Missouri, as a student three decades ago and learned the community's music and folklore from its tradition-bearers. He is now recognized as one of the foremost experts of French Creole culture of North America, especially that of the old Illinois Country (encompassing much of present-day Illinois, Missouri and Indiana). He has made numerous recordings and received awards from national cultural institutions. Via 300-year-old songs and stories, this program will take the listener on a fascinating trip through the French Creole history of Missouri from both a historical and cultural perspective and will highlight the enduring French identity of places like Ste. Genevieve and Old Mines through ancient French folktales, haunting ballads and foot-stomping fiddle tunes.