The audience will learn about and experience history in the form of Creole music Thursday, when the four-part Storm Lake Public Library series on Lewis and Clark concludes.
Dennis Stroughmatt, a touring artist and speaker, will present "French Creole Music Traditions of Upper Louisiana."
The Illinois native began recording and observing the American French Creole traditions in the Old Mines, Missouri region while still in his teens, becoming fluent in the dialect, learning the centuries-old fiddling style, and mastering a wealth of stories and songs handed down over 300 years.
The music forms a window into the French Creole culture as it existed before, and after, the Lewis and Clark journey and the Louisiana Purchase.
Stroughmatt went to live in Louisiana and became fluent in more of the music as well as Cajun French dialects. After earning a Masters in History and a Certificate of Quevecois Studies, Dennis has been touring since 1999 with his presentations and musical performances. He tours over 225 days a year in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
He continues to work tirelessly to preserve the language and culture entrusted to him.
In the Storm Lake Library event, he will be accompanied vocally and on percussion by his wife Jennifer Stroughmatt, a French-speaker of French Acadian heritage, as well as Jim Willgoose on acoustic bass and Robert Russell on guitar.
A public question-and-answer session will follow.
The program begins at 7 p.m. in the library. It is free and open to everyone. For more information, contact the library at 732-8026.
The event wraps up the four-part series "Where Diverse Communities Intersect: Lewis and Clark Interact With America," sponsored by the library and Humanities Iowa.