Once upon a time, a group of veteran touring players and studio musicians decided to get together for a jam session, making the kind of music that they liked, treating soul, funk and blues like traditions as opposed to outdated genres. Over time, these jam sessions turned into rehearsals, the opportunity for gigs came about and a band was born.
The GroovaLottos are a powerhouse soul-funk-blues band, said to play with their souls instead of their hands. A high energy band on a mission to unlock the spirit and the soul; and growing up mentored by and playing for a who’s who of classic soul, funk and blues legends, these journeymen are keepers of a musical tradition and legacy, rich with storytelling and infectious grooves.
Incredible music and wild senses of humor make them one of the most entertaining bands around. The GroovaLottos are comprised of Eddie Ray Johnson (Cherokee and Choctaw), drums and vocals; Mwalim Daphunkee Professor (Mashpee Wampanoag), keyboards and vocals; and Richard Johnson, bass, and child prodigy percussionist and MC, The Z.Y.G.(Mashpee Wampanoag). Their music is a exploration and celebration of the merge between eastern First Nations and West African musical forms that became the blues and funk.
Journeymen musicians who’ve made the journey from boys to men, by 19, Eddie Ray was on a three-year national tour, playing for the likes of Rufus Thomas and Wilson Pickett. Before age 14, Mwalim performed at Carnegie Hall and by 16, was one of the youngest session players in EMI Records history. Also having performed at Carnegie Hall by age 15, Richard has been and remains a very sought after bass player by touring and recording Gospel, Jazz and R&B artists throughout the East Coast.
A gifted jazz-fusion drummer The Z.Y.G. first headlined at the Boston Jazz Fest in 2015 at age 12 and made his debut as an MC on an underground mixtape by TMK Squad. He is also featured on the anti- opioid anthem “Flippin’” by the Soul Poet’s Syndicate. Their debut single “Do You Mind (IfWeDanceWitYoDates)?” premiered on the syndicated “Direct From Muscle Shoals” radio show in March of 2016 and remained in the top ten of the Indie Blues charts for 41 weeks. A completely self- contained songwriting, performance and production unit, it’s the goals of The GroovaLottos to keep making music for their growing fan base as well as write and produce for other soul, blues and jam band artists.
In April of 2017 they opened the Gathering Of Nations Powwow, playing in the arena and performing in front of 48,000 people live. Their debut album, “Ask Yo’ Mama” was released shortly after that and has been appearing on the Jam Band, Indie Blues and Classic Soul Charts ever since.
The GroovaLottos are available for tours, festivals, and private events as well as lectures, workshops and residencies. Visit the website of THE GROOVALOTTOS
Note: African Native American or Afro Native? People who call themselves “Black Indians” are people living in America of African-American descent, with significant heritage of Native American Indian ancestry, and with strong connections to Indian Country and its Native American Indian culture, social, and historical traditions. Black Indians are also called African Native American people, Black American Indians, Black Native Americans and Afro Native Americans.