June 18, 2021
The Grammy Award-winning, Charleston, South Carolina-based quintet Ranky Tanky performs timeless music born from the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands. Led by the extraordinary voice of singer Quiana Parler, the group mixes African music, American gospel, and R&B, captivating audiences with lively and danceable grooves. The band’s transporting music uplifts and inspires, bringing audiences to their feet with its irresistible performances.
Ranky Tanky (a Gullah phrase for “get funky”) has also established itself as a passionate global ambassador for its local culture and community, helping to faithfully preserve the traditions originated by African Americans in the coastal South during slavery that are kept alive through the present day.
In the liner notes for the band’s self-titled debut album, historian Herb Frazier writes, “Gullah people from the Sea Islands of South Carolina are the descendants of Africans captured along Africa’s rice coast [in West Africa]. In the so-called new world, the enslaved toiled under the hot Carolina sun along the Atlantic coast. From this bondage came Gullah, a mixture of African and English styles.”
Ranky Tanky’s debut album reached the number one position on the Billboard, Amazon, and iTunes Jazz Charts. Featuring playful game songs, ecstatic shouts, heartbreaking spirituals, and original compositions inspired by Gullah tradition, the band’s follow-up album, Good Time, won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Album and hit the top spot on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart.
Ranky Tanky has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Today Show, PBS Newshour, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The band was also a featured artist in President Biden’s inauguration event, We The People, and was named 2020 Artist of the Year by the Charleston City Paper.
This is Ranky Tanky's first performance at the Moss Arts Center.