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Derrick Doty


A native Kansan, I’m the fourth generation raised on the family farm near Quenemo, once part of the Sac & Fox reservation. Stories of my great-grandfather fiddling for barn dances on the farm inspired me to pick up the instrument. For over 20 years, I’ve been fiddling and dancing, and teaching music.

My appreciation for the past pairs well with music as I continue to interpret Kansas’ history and music traditions. Kansas has a wonderfully rich story that I enjoy telling through music and song. With a focus on traditional American fiddling and historic banjo styles, my goal is to engage the audience and give them something they don’t hear every day.

Now living in Manhattan with my wife and two boys, I play fiddle in Tallgrass Express String Band, which showcases Annie Wilson’s songs about the flora, fauna, and culture of the Flint Hills. I also play with Fiddler’s Dream, an old-time dance band arrangement featuring Bob and Melissa Atchison, Robert Rosenberg, Alice Boyle, and Carl Reed.

Check out Tallgrass Express String Band at:

Educate & Entertain
  • Lessons and workshops for fiddle, classic & stroke style banjo
  • Programs for private and public events
  • Background music for parties and weddings
  • Caller for barn dances and historic balls
  • Classroom programs & living history
  • Exclusive Kansas magic lantern show
  • Humanities Kansas Speaker on Kansas Music History

“Derrick’s gift of researching and finding those hidden “gems” is remarkable. His tireless effort to tell a historical story to its fullest is commendable. Whether it’s on the history of the Santa Fe Trail, Flint Hills, or of his vast knowledge of early music and instruments, his programs enlighten his audience and takes them back to a simpler time with his music and research. I’m not sure there is a musical instrument that he cannot play!  Derrick has been a part of the “Kaw Mission Councils” lecture series, and we look forward to having him participate again in the future.”

~Mark Brooks, Site Administrator of the Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store Museums on the Santa Fe Trail

Now added to the 2023 Humanities Kansas Speakers Bureau, your organization can schedule a Kansas Music History program!

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