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Quarantunes Closes Out With Four Days of Performances!

Since April, Quarantunes has showcased some of the best traditional musicians across the Palmetto State. As we come to a close this June, we’re going big. From Thursday, June 25th to Sunday, June 28th, a new performance will be livestreamed from McKissick Museum’s Facebook page every evening at 7pm! Featuring Gambian drumming, Guyanese steelpan, Powwow drumming, and South Carolina jazz traditions, the artists featured reflect the diverse tapestry of musical traditions in the state. Learn more about each artist below:

Man in yellow clothes standing with one foot perched on top of a drum.
Sol Sabor

Thursday, June 25 – Sol Sabor & The Js Family, Gambian Drumming

Sulay “Sol” Janha is a native of Serekunda, The Gambia. Sol has inherited the life of a master musician, continuing in the footsteps of both his father Bai Janha, a well-known guitarist, and Sira Nying-Janha, the only female drummer in Gambia. Starting on the Wollof (Sabar) Drum, his mastery of instruments has expanded to include guitar and keyboard. Along with his father and other family members that comprise the Janha-Kunda Family, Sol has traveled to America to share his West African musical culture through teachings and performances, sharing rhythm, peace, and blessed vibes that run through their blood. This group is officially registered with the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) as a fully operational performance group, and have been acknowledged as “viable, artistic, and cultural ambassadors of The Gambia” (2003).

Man standing in front of a steel pan drum and a microphone
Seitu Solomon

Friday, June 26 – Seitu Solomon, Guyanese Steelpan

Seitu Solomon was born into a musical family. Born in New York City, Seitu grew up around the sounds of steelpan through his father – from the South American country of Guyana – and mother, who is from Saint Lucia. It was unsurprising, then, that Seitu took a similar interest in the instrument, forming the family band Steel Impressions with his parents, as well as his older brother and younger sisters. Since starting on steelpan, Seitu has expanded his musical knowledge to include a multitude of instruments, including piano, guitar, bass, soprano sax, vocals, along with tenor steelpan. Since moving with his brother to Charleston in 2014, Seitu Solomon has become a growing presence in the city, performing regularly at beach venues where the sounds of steelpan perfectly match the tropical climate.

Woman in the middle of a crowd dancing, dressed in bright, neon color clothes. She wears a bright shawl with tassels.
Shania Muckenfuss (Fancy Shawl dance)

Saturday, June 27 – Edisto Natchez-Kusso Tribe of South Carolina, Powwow Drumming & Dance

The Kusso have traditionally lived in the same area they occupy today, near the Edisto River in South Carolina before being forced out in the 1670s due to white settlement. However, from the 1960s onwards, political advocacy lead to state recognition in 2008.

During Quarantunes, performers from the Edisto Natchez-Kusso Tribe will give a brief history of their tribe and an informational session on the drum. Performers will play the drum and introduce different styles of dancing, with an opportunity for a Q&A session at the conclusion of the performance.

Man illuminated from a black background playing a trumpet.
Charlton Singleton

Sunday, June 28 – Charlton Singleton, South Carolina Jazz Traditions

A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. He would then go on to study the organ, violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school. In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University. As a performer, Charlton leads his own ensembles that vary in size and style. He has performed in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. He is a founding member of a new ensemble called Ranky Tanky. The group is a quintet that interprets the sounds of Gullah from the Southeast Coast of the United States. In addition to performing, he is in demand as a speaker, clinician, composer, and arranger.

Like/Follow McKissick’s Facebook page to stay up to date with all Quarantunes performances. These performances will be posted on McKissick’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of the each event page. For those unable to attend the event, a recorded version of the performance will be uploaded to McKissick Museum’s YouTube channel. Support for Quarantunes has been provided by the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come.

Quarantunes Double Feature This Friday and Saturday!

Queen Quet, Cheiftess of the Gullah/Geechee nation

Quarantunes is back this weekend with two performances by some of the best traditional performances in South Carolina. This Friday at 7pm, Ron & Natalie Daise present “We’ve Been Coming a Long Time,” a revue of beloved Gullah/Geechee songs and stories throughout the years. Our series continues Saturday at 7pm with Queen Quet (Marquetta L. Goodwine), Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, with “A Gullah/Geechee Musical Journey with Queen Quet.”

Ron and Natalie Daise

Well known for bringing Gullah culture to national and international television audiences via Nickelodeon’s “Gullah Gullah Island,” Ron and Natalie Daise have devoted much of their twenty-year career to recovering, performing, and publishing information about the rich history of Lowcountry African-Americans. Drawing on stories culled from oral histories conducted with elderly Sea Island residents, the two perform nearly forgotten spirituals, and tell tales of “seekin’religion” in the wilderness, of folk medicine belief and of “the hag.” Strong and effective advocates for the importance of recognizing Gullah language and culture, the Daises have ensured that people around the world will know about a corner of our state. Ron and Natalie Daise received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 1997.

Queen Quet (Marquetta L. Goodwine)

Queen Quet (Marquetta L. Goodwine) is a published author, computer scientist, lecturer, mathematician, historian, columnist, preservationist, environmental justice advocate, environmentalist, film consultant, and “The Art-ivist.” She is the founder of the premiere advocacy organization for the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition. Queen Quet has not only provided “histo-musical presentations” throughout the world, but was also the first Gullah/Geechee person to speak on behalf of her people before the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland. Queen Quet was one of the first of seven inductees in the Gullah/Geechee Nation Hall of Fame. She received the “Anointed Spirit Award” for her leadership and for being a visionary. In 2001, Queen Quet received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award for her advocacy of Gullah Culture in South Carolina.

Tune in this Friday, June 19th and Saturday, June 20th to hear Ron & Natalie Daise and Queen Quet from the comfort of your own home! Click here (Ron & Natalie Daise) and here (Queen Quet) to be directed to the event pages for these performances, and don’t forget to like the McKissick Facebook page to stay up to date on future shows. The performance will be posted on McKissick’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of the linked event page. For those unable to attend the event, a recorded version of the performance will be uploaded to the McKissick Museum YouTube channel. Support for Quarantunes has been provided by the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Ron and Natalie Daise

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come.

Steve McGaha to the Stage!

Man in a cowboy hat standing while playing guitar and singing into a microphone.

Continuing our series of Quarantunes performances this month, McKissick Museum is pleased to announce blues guitarist Steve McGaha. With a love of music passed down from his father, the late Loyd “Slick” McGaha, Steve learned to play, as many traditional musicians of his generation do, by copying adults, other regional blues musicians, and by listening to the radio. This intermingling of traditional and modern culture illustrates the dynamic nature of South Carolina folk music. Both father and son received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 2003.

Tune into McKissick’s Facebook Page this Friday, June 12th to hear Steve McGaha from the comfort of your home! Click here to be directed to the event page for this performance, and stay up to date on future shows. The performance will be posted on McKissick’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of the linked event page. For those unable to attend the event, a recorded version of the performance will be uploaded to McKissick’s YouTube channel.

Man in a hat sitting and playing guitar in front of a microphone.

Quarantunes is made possible with generous support from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and McKissick’s folklife programs for years to come.

Quarantunes presents Aunt Pearlie Sue!

 

Aunt Pearlie Sue

Starting this month’s Quarantunes series, the McKissick Museum is excited to introduce Aunt Pearlie Sue. Aunt Pearlie Sue is the creation of Anita Singleton-Prather, a native of the Sea Islands of Beaufort, South Carolina. Based on her grandmother, Aunt Pearlie Sue’s character has entertained audiences with Gullah-flavored folktales for over 20 years from the schoolhouse to the White House. In addition to being a renowned master storyteller, Prather is an educator, historian, business woman, writer, singer, actress, and director/producer. She is the founder and artistic director of the musical performance group the Gullah Kinfolk. As a storyteller and singer, Prather has performed at many festivals, the Beaufort Gullah Festival, Penn Heritage Days Festival, Woodlands Festival, Spoleto USA International Arts Festival in Charleston, SC and San Francisco Festival of the Sea, just to name a few.

Through her Gullah heritage, Prather continues to be a “Keeper of the culture,” creatively entertaining and educating audiences around the world of all ages and nationalities about the rich unique African experience in America.

Aunt Pearlie Sue

Tune into McKissick’s Facebook Page this Friday, June 5th to hear Aunt Pearlie Sue from the comfort of your home! Click here to be directed to the event page for this performance, and stay up to date on future shows. The performance will be posted on McKissick’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of the linked event page. For those unable to attend the event, a recorded version of the performance will be uploaded to the McKissick Museum YouTube page.

Quarantunes is made possible with generous support from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and McKissick’s folklife programs for years to come.

J. Michael King Brings Piedmont Blues to Quarantunes

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is excited to bring accomplished musician J. Michael King to this evening’s Quarantunes music series! J. Michael King is a composer, writer, and Piedmont blues musician with an insatiable love of traditional South Carolina music. King’s passion for Piedmont blues blossomed as a teenager, where the guitar stylings of South Carolina bluesmen like Blind Willie Walker, Josh White, and Pink Anderson were tremendous influences. Apprenticing under Ernie Hawkins – a student of the revered South Carolina bluesman Reverend Gary Davis – in the 1960s, King’s blues pedigree includes composing and performing music for four documentaries; producing and co-producing multiple blues albums; and countless educational programs and music lessons on the Piedmont Blues. In 2018, he received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award for his multiple accomplishments in Piedmont Blues across South Carolina and beyond. We loved having King perform at FOLKFabulous@theFair, and can’t wait to hear what he’ll come up with for Friday’s performance.

Tune into McKissick’s Facebook Page this Friday, May 29th to hear Piedmont blues from the comfort of your home! Click here to be directed to the event page for this performance, and stay up to date on future shows. The performance will be posted on McKissick’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of the linked event page. For those unable to attend the event, a recorded version of the performance will be uploaded to the McKissick Museum YouTube page.

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come.

Quarantunes Continues with The Blue Iguanas Band

Quarantunes returns this Friday evening with an amazing performance of bluegrass by the Blue Iguanas Band! The Blue Iguanas Band combines a love of traditional music and modern acoustic styles such as Newgrass, Americana, and the Blues. The five-piece combo features instruments commonly associated with traditional bluegrass music, and a three or four-part harmony on vocals. The Blue Iguanas have been together for nine years and have played local and regional festivals including The Congaree Bluegrass Festival, the Edisto Bluegrass Festival, the Cherokee NC Bluegrass Festival, Columbia’s Rhythm on the River series and Bluegrass First Class, in Asheville where the band opened for The Seldom Scene. While the band focuses primarily on private events, they can be heard locally at Tombo Grille, The Good Life Café and Steel Hands Brewery, and many others.

Tune into McKissick’s Facebook Page this Friday, May 22nd to hear great sounds of bluegrass, Americana, and more! Click here to be directed to the event page for this performance, and stay up to date on future shows! The performance will be posted on McKissick’s Facebook Page and in the discussion tab of the linked event page.

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come.

Quarantunes to highlight Cuban Jazz in next live stream

This Friday evening, join the McKissick Museum and their Quarantunes music series in showcasing the great musical talents of Gino Castillo! Born in Quito, Ecuador and raised in Havana, Cuba, Gino Castillo is well known in Charleston as the leader of Afro-Cuban Jazz and Salsa. Gino first took an interest in drums as early as age five, trading his expensive violin for a beat up drumset. It would be after attending a concert by Grammy Award-winning band Irakere, though, that he would find his true passion: Cuban jazz. Learning from the group’s legendary conguero – or conga drum player – Gino moved to New York for a time until settling in Charleston in 2010.

During his time in South Carolina, Gino Castillo has quickly established a name for himself. He was name Jazz Artist of the Year by the Charleston City Paper in both 2013 and 2014, as well as Independent Tone Awards Jazz Artist of the Year in 2015 and 2016. In addition to being featured on a multitude of albums and countless performances, Gino has collaborated with acts such as the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Lowcountry Latin Jazz Collective, Earl Klugh, and Oscarito Valdés, among many others. Most recently, he leads Gino Castillo & The Cuban Cowboys, as well as Buena Vista Legacy Band, a tribute to the iconic Cuban musicians featured in the documentary film and album, Buena Vista Social Club.

Tune in this Friday, May 15 at 7pm to listen to an amazing performance of Afro-Cuban Jazz and Salsa. Learn more about Gino Castillo and his career by clicking here!

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come.

Freddie Vanderford Coming to Quarantunes this Friday

Quarantunes continues this Friday evening with 2010 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Recipient Freddie Vanderford, performing Piedmont blues harmonica. Growing up in Buffalo, SC, Vanderford first learned to play the mouth harp, or harmonica, from his grandfather, who played “old mountain songs” on the instrument. Initially, Vanderford blended the country style of his grandfather with the sound of the Chicago blues. However, an encounter with the Piedmont blues of Arthur “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson would forever change Vanderford’s musical style.

In the 1960s, Vanderford first heard Peg Leg Sam play the blues on the radio. When the Union County teenager discovered that the blues harpist and former medicine show performer lived nearby, he set out to meet him, hoping to learn something of his skill and his style. The two eventually developed a close relationship, from which Vanderford learned a great deal about the Piedmont blues. Today, his music is one of the closest links to the early masters of a unique musical tradition. Catch this amazing performance of Piedmont blues harmonica this Friday, May 8th at 7 pm EST! Want a sneak peek? Check out our Scenes from FOLKFabulous 2019 on our Youtube channel.

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support the McKissick Museum. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come!

Qurantunes presents Kristin Scott Benson

Kristin Scott Benson holding a banjo across the top of her shoulders.
Photo courtesy of Kristin Scott Benson

Quarantunes continues this Friday evening with the amazing Kristin Scott Benson, performing Bluegrass. Kristin Scott Benson is the five-time, reigning, International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year and recipient of the 2018 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. This year, Kristin became one of 5 recipients of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, South Carolina’s highest honor for traditional artists and advocates. We are overjoyed to have her perform Friday, May 1st at 7 pm EST!

She has been a member of Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year, The Grascals, since 2008. Kristin is one of the nation’s top bluegrass banjo players, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers.

Many consider her to be one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band:

“There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is….when she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has taken it before.”

Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010

Kristin’s latest solo album, entitled Stringworks, is on Mountain Home Records and was released in July of 2016. It debuted in the top-ten on Billboard’s Bluegrass album chart and the self-penned opening track, Great Waterton, was nominated for IBMA’s Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year. The record is a mixture of styles that reflect her tastes and features original and traditional instrumentals, as well as vocal songs that showcase her banjo playing.

Kristin has been featured on The Grascals’ albums since 2008, including the release, Before Breakfast, which topped the Bluegrass Unlimited Album Chart, holding the #1 slot for 8 consecutive months. Media performances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and CBS’ The Talk, among others. The band has performed for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as accumulating over 200 performances on The Grand Ole Opry.

Kristin Scott Benson performing with her banjo.
Photo courtesy of Kristin Scott Benson

After living 13 years in Nashville, she moved back to her original home in the Carolinas, where she lives with her husband and son.

Can’t make the livestream or don’t have Facebook? Not to worry! McKissick will upload all of these performances to YouTube and Facebook for easy viewing at the end of every Facebook Live event.

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider supporting McKissick Museum’s Midlands Gives Campaign on May 5th. All funds raised will go directly to 10 local artists who have been selected to participate in FOLKFabulous 2020 and heavily affected by COVID-19. Your support will help ensure the continuation of South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come!

Midlands Gives Banner - May 5th, 2020

Introducing “Quarantunes,” A New Digital Music Series from McKissick Museum

Quarantunes Poster

The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is pleased to announce the release of “Quarantunes,” a weekly Facebook Live series showcasing performances by Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients, South Carolina Arts Commission Traditional Arts Apprenticeship participants, and more! Tune in to McKissick’s Facebook page every Friday evening at 7pm to enjoy performances from some of the best traditional artists in the Palmetto State. 

While COVID-19 may have enforced a lockdown, McKissick Museum has moved online to continue to showcase traditional music from across the state. From April to June, we will be bringing a variety of artists online to perform a series of at-home concerts. 

Willie Wells and The Blue Ridge Mountain Grass Band Photo with 6 musicians in a line.

We are pleased to kick off our series with Willie Wells & The Blue Ridge Mountain Grass Band. The son of the late Bill Wells – a 1998 Folk Heritage Award Winner – Willie has immersed himself in the sounds of bluegrass and country music since the early 1970s, playing drums, and singing lead and harmony vocals. Having early country music and bluegrass influence from his father, Willie continued to develop and expand his musical direction toward recording studio production.  

As the bluegrass influence has continued to grow over the past ten to twelve years, Willie continues in the musical legacy that his father started. Inspired by his father to play guitar and lead the band his father started over forty years ago, Willie continues in his father’s footsteps to preserve bluegrass music in South Carolina.  

Can’t make the livestream or don’t have Facebook? Not to worry! McKissick will upload all of these performances to YouTube and Facebook for easy viewing at the end of every Facebook Live event.  

Quarantunes is just a small piece of McKissick Museum’s mission to support the traditional arts in South Carolina. As you enjoy the sights and sounds of these influential artists, we hope you’ll consider supporting McKissick Museum’s Midlands Gives Campaign on May 5th. All funds raised will go directly to 10 local artists who have been selected to participate in FOLKFabulous 2020 and heavily affected by COVID-19. Your support will help ensure the continuation of the South Carolina’s traditional arts and FOLKFabulous for years to come!