Kissidugu Ensemble

Fara Tolno’s Kissidugu Ensembles:

Fara brings his deep knowledge of Guinean music and dance to each ensemble creating a unique blend of tradition and new fresh works. Currently Fara has ensembles in Utah, Northern California, Guinea and the Merveilles All-Stars which comes together at our Camp Merveilles conferences yearly.  He works extensively with The Center for Indigenous Music & Culture in Arizona and Lavaroots Performing Arts in Hawaii; educating and sharing with their communities through performance works, educative workshops and youth programming. Additionally, Mr. Tolno works with companies and universities across the United States teaching and creating new pieces.

For more information and bookings please email:




Our Intention: To Inspire people of all colors, cultures, and backgrounds to connect to themselves, to one another and to their community through music, dance, and dialogue.

Kissidugu – means “a safe place” or “place of refuge” in the Kissi language of Guinea, and this ensemble “name” was founded in 2004 by Fara Tolno.

When tribal wars and the slave trade ravaged the coast of Guinea, people realized that in order to keep their families safe and intact that they would need to find “a safe place” to live. Many migrated inland to the mountains and forests. One of the villages that arose from this migration was called Kissidugu, where Fara spent much of his youth.

Fara’s ensembles are a merging of cultures.  Members are of varied ancestry and backgrounds. Drawn by the strong pull of this powerful music and dance, the members have all come together to study and be immersed in West African Traditional Arts.  Under the direction of Master Teacher Fara Tolno the ensembles are learning, holding and sharing the rich musical tradition of Guinea, West Africa.

Please feel free to contact us at with any comments or inquiries.