At an annual Native American speaker series held at Tufts University last winter, Aquinnah Cultural Center program director Linda Coombs saw a performance by a women’s musical group that simply blew her away. Of course, she wasn’t yet the program director at the time, but when she took on the role in May of this year, she knew she wanted the group, Ulali, to be part of the cultural center’s summer season schedule.

The internationally-known a cappella performers might not have been so easy to track down had Ms. Coombs not had an inside connection. It just so happened that one of Ulali’s musicians, Jennifer Kreisberg, rented property from a friend of Ms. Coombs’ in southern Rhode Island. “That’s how I was able to get in touch with her,” said Ms. Coombs, in an interview this week about the upcoming concert.

The cultural center is hoping for a grand turnout for the Wednesday night musical event. It will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with chowder and refreshments for sale, and a the Black Brook Singers will perform the opening act. “That’s the Aquinnah drum group,” said Ms. Coombs. “They sing at pow wows. So they’ll be at the Aquinnah pow wow and then they go around to other pow wows in the area too, off-Island.”

The event will be held under a sprawling tent on the cultural center property, which overlooks the south shore and stands near to the Gay Head clay cliffs.

Ulali will follow the Black Brook Singers with an eclectic mix traditional and contemporary musical styles. “It’s native music, and it’s very diverse,” said Ms. Coombs of the material. “A lot of times it’s a cappella. Sometimes they may use a drum, or different types of rattles.

“The thing about these girls is the harmonies that they sing, they give you goosebumps. They have a huge background, a huge body of work that they’ve done.”

That includes work at festivals, in the movies, and prestigious awards. Ms. Kreisberg and Pura Fe formed the group in the late 1980s, and they have been traveling nationally and internationally together ever since. They performed at the 1994 revival of the Woodstock music festival, and later at the Olympic Games in Atlanta and Salt Lake City, in 1996 and 2002. They also performed at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival to promote their contribution to the soundtrack for the film Smoke Signals. Their awards include the Eagle Spirit Award from the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and a Native American Women’s Recognition Award from the Friends of Ganondagon.

“They’re a fabulous group. I was just blown away by them,” said Ms. Coombs of her initial reaction to the music. “I’d heard them before, I’d heard their CDs, but to see them live is really something.”

And something she wanted to share with the Island. And the cultural center made the perfect venue. As new program director this summer, Ms. Coombs has overseen everything from speaking events to film screenings to children’s activities. She said she’s enjoyed a very well-attended, successful first season full of events that cover “anything that’s culturally related.”

Music qualifies. Ulali does use drums and rattles for some of their music, and stomps to complement some songs. They fuse many different forms of indigenous musical techniques and often tell stories with their lyrics. When there are lyrics, that is.

“Vocables; they’re sounds that carry the melody, and not really words,” said Ms. Coombs. “There are lyrics,” she said of the performance. “It just depends on the song. They do both.”