EXETER — The Tomaquag Museum and Charlestown’s Rhythm & Roots Festival are expanding their partnership thanks to a $1,750 grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts’s New England States Touring program. Thanks to the grant, The GroovaLottos — a Wampanoag-led, Grammy nominated soul-funk-blues band, will be added to the festival’s lineup, marking the first time a Native American led group will be featured at the festival.
The GroovaLottos feature seasoned studio session and touring players from the Wampanoag, Choctaw, and Cherokee communities who are known as “keepers of a musical tradition and legacy, rich with storytelling, humor, and infectious grooves.”
Their debut album, “Ask Yo’ Mama,” received four Grammy nominations for Pop and R&B when it was released last fall.
Tomaquag Museum, a 2016 Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal winner, has partnered with the festival for three years as part of an initiative to expand its audience. The large audience of music lovers at the festival are introduced to Indigenous culture through an opening blessing by a Narragansett Tribal Elder Dawn Dove; storytelling by Narragansett artist Thawn Harris; daily family arts workshops including corn husk dolls, dreamcatchers and beaded necklaces by museum educators and a Native American artist collaborative tent. The partnership was forged to show respect for First Peoples, share Indigenous culture, arts, music and history.
The 2018 Rhythm & Roots Festival will be held Labor Day weekend, from Friday, Aug. 31, to Sunday, Sept. 2, at Ninigret Park. Bands on four stages will perform Zydeco, delta blues, swing, swamp pop, polka, honky tonk, klezmer, Celtic, boogie woogie, Cajun, rockabilly and other musical styles. For tickets and more information, visit rhythmandroots.com or call 401-783-3926.