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*The GroovaLottos music group is celebrated on this date in 2009. They are a 3-piece African and Native American funk music band.
They are from Mashpee, Massachusetts, comprised of three Black Indians: Mwalim, Christopher Sweeting, and Eddie Ray Johnson, of Wampanoag, Cherokee, and Choctaw backgrounds. They represent the intersectionality of African and Native American heritage. In their beginnings, the Groovalottos blend elements of their Black and Native roots in their music. Mwalim, Director of Black Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and professor of English, had been doing musicology research when he began to see Native elements in African American music.
They feel melodic, blues, and spirituals are Natively related through seasoned studio session keyboardist/ vocalist/ producer and solo jazz recording artist Mwalim. They were playing their first show in 2011 at a multicultural festival in the afternoon and a local club that night. The band quickly rose as a New England regional choice at bars, clubs, and events, with their mix of funky soul classics and popular originals.