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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Togo: Traditional Instruments of Africa


Dance Fibre & textile arts History & heritage Music Performance
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City of Surrey, BC



Offered in English.


Togolese music includes a great variety of percussion-led dance music. Songs and music are used in rituals and religious ceremonies, to pass down stories from generation to generation, as well as to sing and dance to. Traditional music in most of Africa is passed down orally (or aurally) and is not written.


Talking Drums originated from West African countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger. They were used as a means of communication that could be heard from far far away throughout the kingdoms, thus the name "Talking Drums."


The balafon is a wooden instrument originated primarily from Mali and all countries around the Sahara desert. They come in various keys and were tuned mostly in pentatonic notes.


The large calebasse, calabash, shekere or gourd are grown around the mighty Nile river particularly from Niger. The Togolese use them as table drums, shakers beside their multi purpose.


Kora and Ngni are string instruments originated from Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Fasso etc. Koras are played just like a harp while the Ngoni is like the banjo. In fact, Ngoni gave birth to the banjo.


Djembe drums, kpalogo samba drums and many others are also found throughout West African countries.

Many other percussion instruments originated from Africa depending on the regions. The continent of Africa is tremendously influenced by music and cultures.



City of Surrey

The City of Surrey's Special Events team organizes four major special events annually: Party for the Planet, Surrey Canada Day, Surrey Fusion Festival and the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival. Surrey Fusion Festival brings together over 80,000 people annually to celebrate food, music, and culture.


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Virtual Surrey Fusion Festival + Cultural Video Series

City of Surrey City of Surrey, BC

Join us for a virtual Surrey Fusion Festival celebration this year! Presented by Coast Capital Savings, Surrey Fusion Festival will host a virtual livestream followed by a four-week online cultural campaign. Surrey Fusion Festival is th...