Real Deal Louisiana Creole Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, and New Orleans Swamp Pop
* Dennis Stroughmatt *
Dennis Stroughmatt
& Creole Stomp
A specialist in North American French Creole and Cajun language, culture, and
music, Dennis Stroughmatt nows tours internationally through the United States,
Canada, and Europe as an ambassador of this exciting and enduring legacy.  
Originally from southern Illinois, Dennis grew up in the shadow of the French
Creoles of Vincennes, IN and and always wanted to become more informed about
this part of American culture. While still a teenager, Dennis moved to Cape
Girardeau, MO to attend Southeast Missouri State University at the beginning of
the 1990's.  While in Missouri he "accidentally" became involved with the French
Creole population of Old Mines, MO and spent almost two years attending weekly
house parties or "bouillons," learning to speak Creole French with Kent Beaulne,
and learning to play the fiddle styles of the Missouri French.  CLICK HERE for more
info about Dennis' Illinois/Missouri French musical past and on-going pursuits.

His friends in the "mines" suggested to him that if he wanted to continue his study
of French culture, he needed to go to Louisiana where there were over 3/4 of a
million French speakers.  Thus eventually Dennis did move to Lafayette, LA where
he worked and interned at the famous Vermilionville Folklife Village.  There Dennis
increased his fluency in French (though more heavily Cajun) thanks to Blanche
Quebedeaux and Evelyn Goller, spent countless hours with Cajun and Creole
master fiddlers including Faren Serrette, Black Allemand, Canray Fontenot, and
Merlin Fontenot, and eventually just became one of the locals.

Dennis finally returned to Illinois to purse a Masters of History at Southern Illinois
University.  After arriving in Carbondale, Dennis met up with Jon Watson and John
Giffin and they formed a band called the Brown Baggers in late 1995.  Starting out
playing a wide variety of traditional folk music, French festivals in Missouri and
Illinois began calling and thus the Brown Baggers started to focus on the Creole
and Cajun music in which Dennis was steeped.  Eventually the Brown Baggers
became a popular Midwest band.  Though the original Brown Baggers never broke
up, for a few years the band morphed into an alter ego, beginning in 2000, with a
somewhat changed lineup called Bon Temps Roulez. This group, BTR, disbanded
in 2002.  But the original Brown Baggers consisting of Dennis, Jon Watson, and
John Giffin never considered letting the music stop.   During that same year, 2002,
Dennis and Jon Watson formed Creole Stomp as a full-time touring Louisiana
Creole-Zydeco and Cajun band.  

During the late 90's into 2002 Dennis did move extensively, and in 1999 after being
awarded a Masters of History from SIU, he attended The University of Quebec at
Chicoutimi, Canada where he was awarded a Certificate in Quebec French
Language and Culture in the Fall of 1999.  After returning to the United States, he
continued to work with his Illinois based band but went back to his roots and started
traveling with Louisiana based groups such as Sheryl Cormier and Cajun Sounds,
The Acadian Aces, The Bayou Teche Band, and the Creole group The Ardoin
Family Band.  He still works heavily with the Morris Ardoin Creole Trio and Dexter
Ardoin and the Creole Ramblers as well as the Nashville, TN based "Roux de
Bayou" on occassion.  When he started touring with the Ardoin's several years ago,
Dennis took up playing Creole style accordion under the direction of Morris and
Dexter Ardoin leading him deeper into African Creole Music which ignited in him the
desire to create Creole Stomp.....   

Presently Dennis and his wife Jennifer live near his home town of Albion, Illinois.  Of
course one can always find him popping up in Lafayette or Eunice, LA or Old
Mines, MO.      

As is his goal, Dennis continues to carefully preserve the language, culture, and
music that he learned in Missouri and Louisiana.  Outside of Creole Stomp he
offers workshops, seminars, and solo performances (acoustic) that encompass the
full range of North American French Music and Culture. For more information on a
performance or workshop please follow the link below.