Jazz musician Charlton Singleton interviews local movers and shakers as part of Gaillard Center's "Raising the Volume" video series | Photo provided

The Gaillard Center has released five new episodes of “Raising the Volume,” a free video series featuring conversations on music, race, art, activism and community curated by local Grammy winning jazz musician Charlton Singleton and Charleston’s poet laureate Marcus Amaker. Episodes 18-22 are now available with accompanying lesson plans developed for middle and high school students.

“Marcus Amaker and I being the artist-in-residence and artist-in-residence-emeritus, respectively, at the Gaillard Center, right after the murder of George Floyd, we were asked by the Gaillard Center if we wanted to say something about it,” Charlton Singleton told City Paper. “We came up with the idea of having conversations about a number of topics.” 

And from that idea came the “Raising the Volume” interview series in which Amaker and Singleton talk with Black artists, educators and entrepreneurs from the Charleston area to give a platform to people who are doing great things in the Lowcountry. (Check out episode 4 to hear from City Paper special projects editor, Herb Frazier.)

“Over the course of the series, we’ve had a number of people that have been able to share their story, how they’ve lifted their communities, how they’ve overcome some sort of adversity,” Singleton said. “We just think they are gems of stories that need to be shared.” 

“Episode 1 was Marcus and I sitting down and talking about some of our navigations and some of our experiences as two young Black men growing up in this climate,” Singleton of the first post back in October 2020. 

“It’s not all serious like that — we’ve had episodes where Marcus and I have just sat and talked music just because we are music lovers.” 

ere’s a list of the new episodes:
Episode XVIII – Michael Brown details community traditions, inspiration, and conflict resolution. 

Episode XIX – Quiana Parler explores passion, goals for the future and Gullah culture. 

Episode XX – Dr. William Melvin Brown analyzes gentrification, equality advocacy, and community outreach.

Episode XXI – Lonnie Hamilton III describes his experience as a Charleston educator and a politician. Episode XII – Techa Smalls-Brown reviews the importance of practicing mindfulness.