This Grammy winning Charleston, SC-based quintet, performs timeless music born from the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands. Their debut album was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the TODAY show. It also soared to the #1 position on the Billboard, Amazon, and iTunes Jazz Charts. Playful game songs, ecstatic shouts, and heartbreaking spirituals can all be found on their latest release Good Time, which also offers the groups first original songs inspired by Gullah tradition
Their name is a Gullah expression that, loosely translated, means work it! or get funky! Gullah is the culture that developed among the slaves and their descendants living on the South Carolina coast and Sea Islands, a culture influenced by West Africa. Gullah culture comes with its own dialect, food traditions and music.
The members of Ranky Tanky are from South Carolina. They perform songs that come out of or became popular in Gullah culture, including spirituals, dance music and children’s rhymes. Ranky Tanky is made up of four musicians who started playing together nearly 20 years ago, then went their separate ways and reunited for Ranky Tanky and lead singer Quiana Parler. She’s performed everything from gospel to pop and R&B. She studied with an opera singer as a child and got pretty close to being a finalist in the second season of “American Idol.” She’s joining us along with guitarist and singer Clay Ross, who started the band, and trumpeter and singer Charlton Singleton, whose family is from one of the South Carolina islands, as well as bassist Kevin Hamilton.