A Mixed Interpretation on the Roots of the Blues

Jun 19, 2017

Mwalim playing keyboard at Gilda’s Stone Rooster in Marion.
Credit Photo by Abby Madan April 2017

In more ways than one, Mwalim sees himself reflected in blues music. Mwalim is a musician in Mashpee who has a mixed Black and Native heritage. He’s part of a growing number of people who share a curious theory of the origins of the blues—that the genre has both Black and Native musical roots. Through his music, Mwalim is on a mission to share this idea. 

In April 2017, Mwalim’s band, The Groovalottos, performed at the Gathering of Nations Powwow in New Mexico. That’s the largest powwow in the world. Their debut album was released this year.

This piece came to us from our production partners at Atlantic Public Media through their media-training program, The Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole. Abby is a graduate of the workshop and you can find out more about that program at Transom.org. 

Creative Life is edited by Jay Allison and made possible by the Circle of Ten - ten local businesses and organizations committed to local programming on WCAI.