It’s been a while, but the Tryon Fine Arts Center is about to ‘go funky again’ with headlining quintet Ranky Tanky of Charleston, SC, which broadcasts Gullah’s music worldwide. “Ranky Tanky destroyed the house in 2017,” said Arts Center Executive Director Marianne Carruth, “and I think they will do it again this year. Tryon is a sophisticated community, the kind of people who appreciate and enjoy quality music and entertainment. And while we can appreciate the cultural significance of Ranky Tanky, I strongly suspect we’ll see people again dancing in the aisles. When Ranky Tanky starts, you just can’t help it. You just feel moved – moved by the rhythms, moved by the lyrics, moved by their energy, moved to have a good time.
The Grammy-winning band will take to the Tryon Stage on Sunday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets sell out quickly but can available for $35 and $40 via the Centre’s website: www.tryonarts.org/events. “We are absolutely looking forward to another opportunity to perform for the Carolina Foothills community at the Tryon Fine Arts Center! percussionist Quentin said E. Baxter from his home in Charleston. “I am so excited to perform at the Tryon Fine Arts Center again and share new music with everyone from our Grammy award-winning album Good time!” Singer Quiana Talking added.
Ranky Tanky specializes in updating and interpreting Gullah music, the music of free and enslaved Africans who lived on the Sea Islands off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. Music is rooted in pain and hardship they have endured, but it is also a matter of hope. It was this energized hope that opened global doors for Ranky Tanky to introduce Gullah’s music to anyone looking to learn and/or have a good time. Gullah’s words “ranky tanky” translate as “to get funky with it”.
Individually, each member is an accomplished musician. Baxter tours with jazz musicians René Marie and others and is a former professor of jazz percussion at the College of Charleston. Hamilton was a collaborating artist in the OneBeat from the US State Department, a music exchange program. Ross was a member of Matuto, a world music group who fused Brazilian music with modern jazz. Singleton is the former musical and artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. And Parler is an American Idol Season 2 alumnus.
Currently, Ranky Tanky is touring the world. Before arriving at Tryon, he will have just played in New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Then he will go to the MeadowGrass Music Festival in Colorado and then to Finland, Sweden, Germany, then back to North America. Throughout the band’s musical journey, he has performed on National Public Radio (NPR), the TODAY (news) Show, PBS Newshour and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “Unfortunately, I was unable to join the band for Ranky Tanky’s debut performance in 2017,” Baxter said. “However, and since then, I have had other opportunities to collaborate with TFAC’s Managing Director, Marianne Carruth, and finding the Foothills community extremely receptive to different mediums of artistic expression. I certainly look forward to this cultural celebration between the South Carolina Lowcountry and the northern foothills Carolina Mountains. Trumpeter Singleton added: “Tryon Fine Arts Center, here we come! The last time we performed on this magnificent stage was indeed magical and memorable. We look forward to experiencing it and a fantastic crowd again!
Tickets and details for these concerts, as well as many other events at TFAC are available at www.tryonarts.org. Call 828-859-8322 with questions. The ticket office is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Masks are welcome to all events. The concert is sponsored by Around Tryon Properties Real Estate, Parsec Financial and North Carolina Arts Advice.