a nice image of Ranky Tanky

Ranky Tanky

Reviews Summer Tour 2017
Hans-Olav Solli / Molde Jazz Festival: "RT was a huge success!"
Michael Schmidt / Folk Holidays: "Ranky Tanky were really excellent!!!"
Jo Aichinger / Glatt & Verkehrt: "This show was AMAZING – wooww – absolutely fantastic music, great people, extremly nice friendly persons"


“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.

Press Quotes

"Ranky Tanky, from Charleston, S.C., sings old Gullah songs — some of them sly moral lessons — in arrangements that connect their beat to a New Orleans lilt." - New York Times 1/10/17

"The biggest surprise of the evening, though, came not from Asia nor Africa. It came from South Carolina, where a quintet called Ranky Tanky has updated the Gullah tradition of the Georgia/Carolina sea islands with gospel vocals, jazz trumpet solos and an R&B rhythm section. Isolated on those islands, slaves developed their own language and music that remained more African than anything on the mainland, creating a culture like no other.

Ranky Tanky, which takes its name for the Gullah phrase for “work it” or “get down,” transforms the hymns, party anthems and children’s songs of the islands into infectiously rocking numbers. Quiana Parler is a big-voiced, joyful singer; Charlton Singleton is a marvelous trumpeter, and Clay Ross stitches everything together with his introductions and unusual rhythm-guitar solos.

Like the best of globalFEST, Ranky Tanky proved that exotic music can be both unfamiliar enough to be surprising, and yet familiar enough to provoke swinging hips and nodding heads. When it works, it’s the best of both worlds." - Geoffrey Himes - 10.01.2017 Paste Magazine on Globalfest

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Book a Concert

15. - 30. July 2018
23. October - 1. November 2018

Heike Lieske

Katja Plasse

Travelling party:

Exclusive territory:

Non excl. territory:
Europe in cooperation with Minnamurra Music

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Current Release:



Jul 19

Molde Jazz Festival

Molde, Norway 

Jul 20

Molde Jazz Festival

Molde, Norway

Jul 21

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Jul 22

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Jul 26

Folk Holidays Festival

Náměšť Nad Oslavou, Czechia

Jul 27

Sommarscen Festival

Malmo, Sweden

Jul 29

Glatt und Verkehrt

Krems an der Donau, Austria

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Photo © Reese Moore

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Photo © Reese Moore


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