gville grooves

The free Greenville Grooves festival gathers community members to celebrate African American Music History for the month of June.

The Greenville Grooves festival will be returning to the city for its sixth year this Friday at Town Commons from 6-9 p.m., featuring performances by Carroll Dashiell and The Beast.

The free Greenville Grooves festival gathers community members to celebrate African American Music History for the month of June, Meredith Hawke, Events and Branding Director for Uptown Greenville said.

Hawke said the festival is an opportunity to “celebrate the talent of Eastern North Carolina in the heart of the city.”

“The festival is a beautiful celebration of African American Music History Month. The festival brings together a showcase of fantastic talent while highlighting local vendors,” Hawke said.

According to Hawke, the festival will have food vendors, a cultural marketplace, activities for children and will feature various non-profit organizations.

Dashiell, an associate professor of music, director of jazz ensembles and string/electric bass professor at East Carolina University, will be performing at the festival.

Dashiell was among 50 African American musicians, writers, and artists honored in February by Governor Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper in celebration of Black History Month, according to the ECU School of Music website.

The Beast is “an innovative and electrifying hip hop and jazz ensemble” from Durham, North Carolina, consisting of Pierce Freelon, Eric Hirsh, Stephen Coffman and Pete Kimosh, according to the band’s official website.

“The Beast is a home-grown artistic force, mixing tap-dancers, puppeteers and spoken word artists into its repertoire,” the band’s website said.

Caitlynn Fletcher, a resident of Greenville who is attending the festival, said she is looking forward to “a fun filled evening with live music and venders,” meeting people and enjoying the music.

Fletcher heard about the festival on Facebook. She has not attended Greenville Grooves before, but said she is excited to experience it this year. This will be her first time seeing Dashiell and The Beast perform.

“I enjoy going to these events to hear the live music and to just hang out with friends after a long work day. I'm very much looking forward to it,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher said she will be attending the festival with a friend, and that they are looking forward to relaxing at the end of the week and hearing new music.

According to Fletcher, her favorite part of attending concerts and festivals in Greenville is the social aspect. She said it’s a great way to spend time with her friends and to meet new people.

“I’m looking forward to relaxing in a fun and positive atmosphere. I think it's important for people to get out and enjoy the wonderful and free events Greenville has to offer,” Fletcher said.

A resident of Greenville, Ann Edwards, said this will be her second time attending the festival. She said she originally heard about the festival a couple years ago through her friends and decided to attend again this year after seeing a Facebook post for the event.

Edwards said she enjoys the live music, the food vendors and the family atmosphere. She has also seen The Beast perform before, and said they are “amazing entertainers.”

“Any and all are invited. I love this show along with other Greenville festivals, just because it's a chance to get to see old friends and make new friends. It’s a great family event that's nice and enjoyable,” Edwards said.

For more information on the festival, visit the page on Uptown Greenville’s website, Facebook page or call 252-561-8400.

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