Ranky Tanky to play in Hackettstown

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Take the Southern coast, West African ryhthms of the Sea-Island Gullah music, add a New Orleans-style rhythm, with a taste of Charleston jazz and R & B and “the result is irresistible!” says SpoletoUSA.

An acclaimed new band called Rankly Tanky is doing just that, and winning fans from Lincoln Center to Norway’s Moldejazz and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Ranky Tanky will perform for one night only at the Centenary Stage Company’s Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown, Saturday Feb. 10 at 8 p.m..

One of the inspired artists behind the band’s formation, musician Clay Ross serves as an Artist in Residence at Carnegie Hall, and has been a Musical Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State for over 13 years. From early training in classical guitar to a stint in the Charlestown, S.C. Jazz scene, and the melting pot of musical styles of his current Brooklyn home, Ross has gathered with some of the best talents in his world to form the band Ranky Tanky.

Trumpeter Charlton Singleton is the artistic director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Lead vocalist Quiana Parler — one of low-country’s most celebrated vocalists — made it to the final 29 on American Idol in 2003, and subsequently toured with Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson. Grammy-nominated Bassist Kevin Hamilton and percussionist Quentin Baxter round out the band as two of the brightest stars of the Charleston jazz scene.

The unique sound of Gullah music comes from the descendants of enslaved Africans living on the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and North Florida. It was the name of the language they spoke on the island, and became the name of their culture and music. The term “Gullah” comes from the Gola tribe in West Africa, where many of Africans were from. They brought as much of their culture with them as they could, and it became known here as “Gullah”. It’s regarded as the most authentic African music in the United States, and is a form of spirituals, which lead to all the music we consider to be “American”- jazz, swing, blues, and on.

Featured recently on NPR’s Fresh Air, the music of this band has been hailed as “a cure for whatever ails you!” raved The Morning Call.

Tickets for Ranky Tanky on Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. in the Lackland Performing Arts Center (LPAC) are $25 for adults and children. Tickets increase $5 on the day of the performance. They can be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org, or by calling the Centenary Stage Company box office at 908-979-0900.

The box office is located in the Lackland Center; 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ. Box office is open Monday through Friday from 1–5 p.m. and two hours prior to each performance.

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