At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, The Matthews welcomes back guitarist Clay Ross (of Matuto), with Ranky Tanky and band members Quiana Parler (vocals), Quentin Baxter (drums), Kevin Hamilton (bass), and Charlton Singleton (trumpet & vocals). This is the second event of our 2016-17 Subscription Series. Individual tickets are $25 adults, $10 youth & BHSU students.
“Ranky Tanky” is Sea Island Gullah for “Work It,” or “Get Funky!”
In this spirit, the Charleston, SC-based quintet performs timeless music from the Carolina Coast. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston are a “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.
South Carolina natives, “Ranky Tanky,” first came together in 1998, fresh out of university, to form a seminal Charleston quartet called, “The Gradual Lean.” Clay Ross, Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, and Charlton Singleton, who shared prodigious musical talent and a playful sense of humor, would frequently crash an event, play a song for the lover of a friend, and just as quickly move on.
For a few beautiful years, impromptu “leans” were happening all across the Charleston Peninsula, and while this band remained local, its members went on to international acclaim, a grammy nomination, international tours, thousands of performances, and millions of notes played around the world with various other projects. Through it all, the four remained friends and occasional collaborators, always open to the possibilities of performing together again.
Now, united by years apart and a deeper understanding of home, these accomplished artists have come together again, joined by vocalist Quiana Parler, to celebrate a “Heartland of American Music” born in their own backyards. See the artists’ biographies.
VIDEO: “Who is the Greatest?”
Clay Ross (Guitar, Vocals) has established himself as an in-demand sideman and innovative bandleader on the international music scene, winning multiple grants through the U.S. State Department and touring worldwide as a Cultural Ambassador. Now signed to the Motema Music label, he currently tours worldwide, leading his NYC-based band Matuto. “Mr. Ross is a very deft guitarist with a rich vocabulary of folk, blues, and jazz at his disposal…” – Wall Street Journal
Quentin E. Baxter (Drums) is a Grammy-nominated musician/producer currently on tour with Freddy Cole and Rene Marie. A prominent figure in the jazz community of his native Charleston, he is the Co-Principal of Charleston Jazz Initiative, a founding board member of Jazz artists of Charleston, and an Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at the College of Charleston.
Charlton Singleton (Trumpet, Vocals) is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra; a 20 piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. He has toured across Europe and throughout the United States. He has also shared the stage with and/or worked with some of most talented entertainers in the world. Outside of music and entertainment, he is a devoted husband and proud father of two.
Kevin Hamilton (Bass) is a celebrated artist in Charleston’s vibrant jazz scene. He has performed internationally with diverse ensembles such as The Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Houston Person, Gregory Hines, and Rene Marie. Kevin Hamilton joined the U.S. Dept. of State’s OneBeat program in 2012 and holds a degree in music theory and composition from the College of Charleston.
Quiana Parler (Vocalist) has one of the most sought after voices in the South Carolina Low-Country and has graced some of the most prestigious stages in the nation. Through a top placement on the hit TV show “American Idol,” she was was discovered by Clay Aiken, with whom she toured nationally for seven years. Quiana has performed with Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and Miranda Lambert, worked with producers David Foster, Adam Anders, Phil Ramone and Walter Afanasieff and appeared on national television shows The View, Good Morning America, and Jimmy Kimmel Live among others. Currently based in Charleston, SC she performs locally and nationally with her 10 piece party band, “Quiana Parler & Shiny Disco Ball Band.”
The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and barrier islands on the Southeastern Atlantic Ocean coast of the United States. Numbering over 100, they are located between the mouths of the Santee and St. Johns Rivers along the coast of the South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
The Gullah are the descendants of enslaved Africans who lived in the Lowcountry regions of Georgia and South Carolina, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands. The Gullah people and their language are also called Geechee, which some scholars speculate is related to the Ogeechee River near Savannah, Georgia. “Gullah” is a term that was originally used to designate the variety of English spoken by Gullah and Geechee people, but over time, it has been used by its speakers to formally refer to their creole language and distinctive ethnic identity as a people.
Because of a period of relative isolation in rural areas, the Gullah developed a culture that has preserved much of the African linguistic and cultural heritage of various peoples, as well as absorbed new influences from the region. The Gullah people speak an English-based creole language containing many African loanwords and influenced by African languages in grammar and sentence structure. Properly referred to as “Sea Island Creole,” the Gullah language is related to Bahamian Dialect, Barbadian Dialect, Belizean Creole, Jamaican Patois, Trinidadian Creole, and the Krio language of Sierra Leone, in West Africa.
VIDEO: Gullah Traditions of the South Carolina Coast
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KEVN Black Hills, South Dakota Arts Council, Great Western Bank, Killian’s Tavern, Black Hills Pioneer, Century 21, Bay Leaf Cafe, City of Spearfish, DeSmet and Biggs, LLP, Forcoli & Sons Painting, Wolff’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Lucky’s 13 Pub, Spearfish Holiday Inn, Zonta Club of Spearfish, Optimist Club of Spearfish, The Matthews’ family, The Kelley family — CLICK HERE to visit these sponsors’ business websites.
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