By Theresa Allen, guest blogger
Get ready for a rich evening of storytelling though song when Ranky Tanky takes the main stage on Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m., at the Lone Tree Arts Center. Ranky Tanky brings the rich tradition of Gullah music of the Carolina coast and infuses it with its own spirited influences of jazz, funk, gospel and R&B. The evening will feature tender lullabies, playful game songs, and elegiac spirituals.
The members of Ranky Tanky include Quentin Baxter on drums and percussion. Baxter is a Grammy-nominated performer and producer of music. Quiana Parler brings her beautiful vocals to the group. Parler studied opera as a child and then gospel, pop and R&B. Clay Ross, founder of Ranky Tanky, performs vocals and guitar. Charlton Singleton, whose family comes from the Coast, plays on the trumpet and Kevin Hamilton performs on bass.
Gullah is a tradition of food, art, music and other cultural references that are deeply rooted in West African culture and have significantly influenced American culture. Gullah tradition has given us songs like “Kum Bah Ya” and “Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore” as well as influenced George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God and children’s literature like Br’er Rabbit from Uncle Remus Songs and Sayings.
Join the Lone Tree Arts Center as it “gets funky!” (a loose translation of Ranky Tanky), on Friday, April 26. Tickets are on sale now from $25 to $45 and can be purchased at www.lonetreeartscenter.org. The Lone Tree Arts Center is located at 10075 Commons Street in Lone Tree. Free on-site parking is available.