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Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Esprit Creole Perform at Mineral Area College

The term “music history” usually brings to mind Beethoven, Bach, or Mozart.  Nonetheless, the Midwest has a musical history of its own intertwined with those who settled along the Mississippi River.  Dennis Stroughmatt discovered the unique French Midwest Creole music of those living in the Illinois Country, comprised of Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.  Stroughmatt states, “A vibrant blend of Celtic, Canadian and Old Time sounds, this music bridges the gap between contemporary Canadian and Louisiana Cajun styles.  Preserved by families in the Ozark foothills, the music remains largely intact and true to the traditions that have been passed down for over three centuries.”

Born in southeastern Illinois, Stroughmatt learned to play fiddle by Missouri Creole fiddlers, Roy Boyer and Charlie Pashia, in the tradition of their fathers.  He is credited as the ambassador for the preservation of the French Midwest Creole music, language, stories, and culture.  He not only studied the music of this culture but studied French in both Louisiana and Quebec to expertly distinguish between regional dialects and nuances of French Creole.  He will take the audience on a journey through his knowledge of regional history of places such as Prairie du Rocher, Illinois and Old Mines, Missouri through ancient French folktales, haunting ballads and foot stomping fiddle tunes.

Stroughmatt’s achievements include the National Oldtime Fiddlers Hall of Fame, Missouri Governor’s Humanities Award, Illinois Arts Tour Grant Winner, Missouri Humanities Speaker, Keynote Speaker Missouri Folklore Society, Keynote Speaker American Association of Teachers of French, French Creole Exhibit in St. Louis, MO.  “[Stroughmatt] has become the living continuation of a vanishing culture in the hills near Potosi.  He had studied with older people during the last decade of the 20th century, people who were not connected to the internet or MTV, and who gathered to speak the old language and to sing the old songs.  Precious cargo, this store of experience and memory in the soul of Dennis.  I felt lucky to encounter him and his French music, it is a reflection of a past that we are fortunate to carry forward for future generations.” — Michael Bowman, Executive Director Missouri Humanities Council.

Mineral Area Council on the Arts (MACOA) is pleased to present Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Esprit Creole in concert at Mineral Area College Fine Arts Theater in Park Hills on Saturday, September 25th, at 7:00 p.m.  The trio consists of Dennis on fiddle, along with Greg Bigler on upright bass and Doug Hawf playing guitar.  Tickets are $8 and may be purchased online at or by clicking on the link below (processing fees apply).  This event is the first of many for the 2021-2022 season of Mineral Area Council on the Arts!  Season tickets are only $50 and may be purchased at the link found below. Contact Scottye Adkins, Executive Director of MACOA at or (573) 518-2125 for more information.

“MACOA strives to offer a variety of events to include at least one multi-cultural event.  While Dennis Stroughmatt et L’esprit Creole performs music and folklore of what is to be considered local culture, it is in danger of being lost to the eons of time if not preserved and, more importantly, shared.  Dennis’ performances are intriguing and comical with a bit of education splashed in for flavor!” (Scottye Adkins)


Purchase Tickets to Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Esprit Creole Concert Here

Purchase MACOA Season Tickets and receive $65 worth of tickets for only $50!  Click Here