Congratulations, Brenton!

Brenton 2023 USA Artists Fellow

It is with great pride and joy that we announce that our very own Stickman, Brenton Jordan, has been awarded the prestigious honor of being a 2023 USA Artist Fellow. Thank you to the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts for generously supporting Brenton and his love of the ring shout.

Originally from the Briar Patch community of Eulonia, Georgia, Brenton Jordan grew up in a close Gullah Geechee community. There, Jordan would learn — along with relatives and members of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church — about the traditional ring shout. As a child, he learned the specific nuances of the authentic ring shout. As he grew older, he started performing with the McIntosh County Shouters as a baser/clapper — providing percussion and helping to maintain the rhythm.

Today, he is the Stickman for the group, still providing percussion by beating a large wooden stick against a wooden board as well as leading some songs. He also is a storyteller, teaching people about his heritage. He has traveled around the United States, sharing this Gullah Geechee culture with audiences young and old. He has performed in venues as large as the National Museum of African American History and Culture to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and venues as intimate as nursing homes and schools. Some of his favorite audiences are school children; as it is in performing for these children, he is able to reach out to the younger generations, thereby keeping the ring shout tradition alive. He is a descendant of London, and Amy Jenkins, two former Georgia slaves, and the Gullah Geechee culture is something very near to his heart. Being able to share this distinctive culture with the world is one of Jordan’s most important objectives, as today’s world sees the culture disappearing due to the gentrification of the East Coast.

Brenton PicJoseph Opala

The World Music Institute is hosting a webinar featuring Brenton Jordan and Joseph Opala on Monday, February 13, 2023. You are welcome to view the webinar for free.

Click on this link: Instructions for joining are on the page.

Tickets are free.

This Is What We’re Shouting About