Language of Music
Gullah Geechee Program Series – The Musicology of Gullah Geechee Culture
Feb. 3 – May 9
Author and performing artist Ron Daise will host a series on the musicology behind Gullah Geechee music throughout the spring at Brookgreen Gardens. Every Wednesday, February through May, Daise will educate guests on the background of the Gullah people, and how music is tied to their language and culture. The presentation will be interactive.
“The program will provide a historical study of Gullah Geechee culture and heritage through exploring musical elements,” Daise told the City Paper. “Pitch: the origin of spirituals, work songs and shanties. Rhythm: Gullah Geechee language and African Diasporic linguistic connections. Tempo: generational acceptance and understanding. And texture: beliefs, values and traditions.”
Daise, the vice president for creative education at Brookgreen Gardens, has worn several hats in his career as a creative. Between 1987 and 2007, he wrote five books, including Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage and Little Muddy Waters: A Gullah Folk Tale. Kids from the ’90s may also remember him as Ron Alston on Gullah Gullah Island, a children’s show about life on the Sea Islands that aired on Nick Jr. The series was inspired by a live multimedia show Daise and his wife, Natalie, produced titled Sea Island Montage.
The St. Helena Island native has a lauded career in educating the public on, and advocating for, Gullah Geechee culture in South Carolina. Along with public lectures and performances, Daise is the former chairman of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.
Reservations for the weekly program are required. Guests can call (843) 235-6049 to grab a spot.