A Road Scholar Program by Dennis Stroughmatt
At one time or another, much of North America, including present-day Illinois, was under French colonial rule. Today, several interrelated, yet distinct, communities of people of French ancestry can be found from eastern Canada to south Louisiana, reflecting complex patterns of migration and settlement. This presentation by Dennis Stroughmatt, a master musician and an expert on French-American folkways, explains the historical and cultural similarities and differences among three of those groups: Illinois Creoles, French Canadians, and Louisiana Cajuns. Stroughmatt performs fiddle tunes representing these three communities and compares their traditional fiddle repertoires and playing styles.