SATURDAY & SUNDAY
“The biggest surprise of the evening, Ranky Tanky proved that exotic music can be both unfamiliar enough to be surprising, and yet familiar enough to provoke swinging hips and nodding heads. When it works, it’s the best of both worlds.” – Paste Magazine
“Ranky Tanky, from Charleston, S.C., sings old Gullah songs — some of them sly moral lessons — in arrangements that connect their beat to a New Orleans lilt.” – New York Times
Charleston, SC based quintet, Ranky Tanky, unites celebrated musicians from the South Carolina Lowcountry, most of whom trace their roots directly back to a unique African American culture called Gullah. Musical performances and workshops pay tribute to this distinct community by updating timeless game songs, work songs, and spirituals collected from early field recordings taken along the Carolina Coast.
“Gullah” comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” In this spirit this Charleston, SC based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.
South Carolina natives Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, and Clay Ross first came together in 1998, fresh out of University, to form a seminal Charleston jazz quartet. Now, united by years apart and a deeper understanding of home, these accomplished artists have come together again, joined by one of the low-country’s most celebrated vocalists Quiana Parler, to revive a “Heartland of American Music” born in their own backyards.