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West African Culture by Way of Charleston

This is an exciting week for the students and staff at Capitol West Academy!

Thanks to our friends at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, we will get to see a musical performance from Ranky Tanky on Friday, May 17.


What’s Ranky Tanky, you ask? It’s a Charleston-based quintet that performs timeless music of Gullah culture. What is “Gullah”? It comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” And to further answer the previous question, “Ranky Tanky” loosely translates as “work it,” or “get funky”!

According to the Wilson Center’s website, “From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston are fertile ground from which these artists are grateful to have grown.”

The group is in the area for a full performance at the Wilson Center on Friday evening, May 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale. Ranky Tanky released their debut on October 20, 2017. By December 2017, their album soared to #1 on Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon jazz charts.

Listen to an interview with the group: Ranky Tanky’s Self-Titled Debut Makes Traditional Gullah Songs New