Grammy Award winners Ranky Tanky will be joining us at the JAS Cafe on July 2 performing timeless music born from the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands. Before you go, get to know a little more about the origins of the music you’ll be hearing!
The Gullah Geechee people are descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast. Many came from the rice-growing region of West Africa. The nature of their enslavement on isolated island and coastal plantations created a unique culture with deep African retentions that are clearly visible in the Gullah Geechee people’s distinctive arts, crafts, foodways, music, and language.
Gullah Geechee is a unique, creole language spoken in the coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The Gullah Geechee language began as a simplified form of communication among people who spoke many different languages including European slave traders, slave owners and diverse, African ethnic groups. The vocabulary and grammatical roots come from African and European languages. It is the only distinctly, African creole language in the United States and it has influenced traditional Southern vocabulary and speech patterns.
Deeply rooted in music traditions brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans, their music evolved out of the conditions of slavery that characterized their lives. The influence and evolution of musical forms that arose out of Gullah music can be heard in many musical genres such as spirituals and gospel music, ragtime, rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop and jazz.
Reference from Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor