“Work it!” “Get funky!” That’s a loose translation of Ranky Tanky, a band of South Carolina natives, who keep the Gullah music tradition alive and fresh. These gifted musicians, featuring the powerful vocalist Quiana Parler, deliver updated Gullah songs rooted in infectious rhythms, soul-stirring hymns and the jazz sensibilities of the messengers. Quentin Parker on drums, Kevin Hamilton on bass, Clay Ross on guitar and vocals, and Charlton Singleton on trumpet and vocals, are each internationally renowned musicians in their own right, now reunited after first playing together while still in college.
The Gullah culture (which means “people blessed by God”) developed on the Sea Island region off the Carolina-Georgia coast, where West African slaves lived and worked and celebrated their African heritage and traditions away from mainland influences. The isolation lead to the development of a unique culture with its own language, music and food. Chances are, you’ve never heard anything quite like Ranky Tanky. Until now.