Launched in January 2014 with special guests Darius Rucker and Cary Ann Hearst, IN THE MIX is a speaker series connecting musicians and students to music industry leaders. Each semester, the Arts Management Program at the College of Charleston produces three sessions of IN THE MIX, a formal component of the course Introduction to the Music Industry. Hosted by Grammy-nominated jazz musician and educator Quentin Baxter and formerly hosted by and writer/music industry professional Heather McDonald Grammy-award winning guitarist of Hootie and the Blowfish and Artist in Residence Emeritus Mark Bryan, and now hosted by Baxter, IN THE MIX explores timely and engaging topics impacting the musical landscape on both a local and national level, all while exposing audience members to industry insiders with real world experience and insight. IN THE MIX is free and open to both students and the public, which often includes local musicians and industry professionals. Through the years, special guests have included leading professionals in the music business from Nashville, New York City, and Los Angeles covering topics from songwriting, touring, digital streaming, and licensing to music publishing. (A full listing of all guests and topics can be found in our Archive.)

Spring 2020 Session:

A banner image for an event, IN THE MIX: A Conversation with Ranky Tanky.


Host and drummer Quentin Baxter leads a conversation with the other members of the quintet, Ranky Tanky, about their recent Grammy win, touring and managing, and their original songs inspired by Gullah culture and traditions. A reception hosted by the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture will follow in the Hill Exhibition Gallery in The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts.

Ranky Tanky is a Grammy-winning Charleston, SC-based quintet that performs timeless and jazz-infused music born of the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands. Their debut album was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the TODAY show. It also soared to the #1 position on the Billboard, Amazon, and iTunes Jazz Charts. Playful game songs, ecstatic shouts, and spirituals can all be found on their latest release Good Time, which won a Grammy for the category of Best Regional Roots Music Album on January 26, 2020. Ranky Tanky’s members include: Quentin Baxter, Drums and Percussion; Kevin Hamilton, Bass; Quiana Parler, Vocalist; Clay Ross, Guitar and Vocals; and Charlton Singleton, Trumpet and Vocals.

This event is produced by the Arts Management Program and co-sponsored by the School of the Arts and the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston.

Fall 2019 Session:

A photo announcement for IN THE MIX: An Evening with the Arabella String Quartet, held on October 21, 2019 at 6:30pm in the Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts.


Host Quentin Baxter leads a conversation with internationally recognized classical music ensemble, the Arabella String Quartet, about recording, touring, and management. A promoter of classical music and renowned and beloved guest on many of the world’s great concert stages, the Arabella String Quartet is comprised of members Julie Eskar, violin; Sarita Kwok, violin; Ettore Causa, viola and Alexandre Lecarme, cello. In addition to performing, the Quartet has recently released its first commercial recording, “In the Moment,” featured on the NAXOS label. Understanding the recording process, marketing, performing logistics, and business decisions of a classical ensemble is vitally important to music industry students to better understand the business of a classical string quartet.

Quentin Baxter is the CEO of his own music production company, Baxter Music Enterprises, LLC and an active performing and recording artist. He currently tours worldwide with two Grammy-nominated artists – vocalist and composer René Marie, and vocalist Freddy Cole. Baxter also tours with Ranky Tanky – the jazz-infused Gullah music ensemble which he co-founded in 2017. He received the South Carolina Governor's Award for the Arts in 2017, South Carolina’s highest award given in the arts, and he taught at the College of Charleston as an adjunct professor of jazz percussion from 1997 to 2019.


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