Ranky Tanky released their eponymous debut on Oct. 20th, 2017. By December of that year, the group had been been profiled on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross and their album soared to the #1 position on the Billboard, I-Tunes, and Amazon Jazz Charts.
"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. Now three years ago, in the South Carolina low-country, five longtime musician friends got together to explore the centuries-old sound of Gullah music - the artistic output of the tight-knit local community known for bolding celebrating and preserving their West African heritage through generations. In the short time since, Charleston's Ranky Tanky have become Gullah music's primary global ambassadors, bringing a sound described as "soulful honey to the ears" (NPR) to the top of the Billboard charts (classified as jazz although Gullah could easily fall within several genres), spreading their message via a Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, a show-stopping performance on the TODAY show and a Central Park SummerStage performance.
This July the group rel