By Lindsay Pierce Martin
Their name means “get loose” or “work it” in the Gullah culture born in the South Carolina Lowcountry — and Ranky Tanky did both during a visit to the Mile High City last week.
The Charleston, South Carolina-based quintet played a workshop at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Department of Africana Studies prior to a scheduled performance at the Lone Tree Arts Center.
Attendees at the MSU Denver workshop were treated to a performance and discussion connecting music with the Gullah Geechee community of the Atlantic Sea Islands, an experience students are able to further delve into through MSU Denver’s Gullah Experience course.
“To be able to include Ranky Tanky’s performance here into our curriculum for next semester will just add another layer to our understanding of Gullah culture,” said Judith Strathearn, Ph.D., lecturer and instructor of the immersive course.
“Once you know what the Gullah rhythm is, you go, ‘Oh, okay – I can hear it in my jazz; I can hear it in my rock.’”
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