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Gullah culture, music comes to ETSU Sunday

Gullah culture, music comes to ETSU Sunday JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. ? The Gullah culture, along the coasts and islands of South Carolina and Georgia, has a colorful heritage of language, handicrafts, Lowcountry cuisine and heartfelt music dating back to the 1600s, when West Africans were brought to the southern coastal areas to cultivate rice, a crop they were expert in growing. Ranky Tanky, which means "work it" or "get funky" in Gullah, is a new concoction of longtime musicians from South Carolina and its Lowcountry, with a mission to spread Gullah music worldwide through recordings, video, performances and educational outreach. Ranky Tanky's Lowcountry debut this year has been followed by a tour of the U.S., Canada and Europe, and East Tennessee State University is on the band's schedule for Sunday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. in the D.R Culp University Center's Martha Street Culp Auditorium. The ETSU Jazz Collective, comprised of student musicians in the Jazz Studies program, will open the show, which is in conjunction with the 2017 Umoja Festival. Members of Ranky Tanky are drummer Quentin Baxter, trumpet player/vocalist Charlton Singleton, guitarist/vocalist Clay Ross, bassist Kevin Hamilton and vocalist Quiana Parler. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and $5 for students. For more, call423-439-TKTS (8587) or visit CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Ranky Tanky is keeping Gullah music at the forefront. They perform Sunday at ETSU at 6 p.m.