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Ranky Tanky performs at Johnson STEAM Academy in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS — Harmonies with a mix of Caribbean and African-American influence filled the cafe Monday afternoon at the Johnson STEAM Academy Magnet School in Cedar Rapids as the Legion Arts/CSPS Landfall Festival of World Music officially got underway with a performance by Ranky Tanky of Charleston, S.C.

The band — Charlton Singleton on trumpet, Kevin Hamilton on bass, Clay Ross on guitar, Quentin Baxter on drums and Quiana Parler on lead vocals — is in town this week to perform several times as part of the 10th annual festival, said Mel Andringa, co-director of Legion Arts.

On Monday, their audience was third- through fifth-graders at Johnson STEAM Academy, a concert that Melissa Summers, music and curriculum integration specialist at the school, helped set up to kick off National Arts & Education Week.

Ranky Tanky — one of seven bands in town for the festival — also performs at 7 p.m. Tuesday at CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE; 6 p.m. Thursday at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth St. SE; and 4 p.m. Friday at NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE. All performances are $10.

Monday’s performance tied into Johnson STEAM Academy’s yearlong school theme of “Making Connections” with STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics — integration related to grade-level music, social studies and 21st Century skills.

For more information about the Landfall Festival, including a complete schedule of events, go to

The festival runs through Saturday.