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Nii Tettey Tetteh

Nii Tettey Tetteh is one of the world's best Kashaka players. To find out more about his music and his band, the Kusun Ensemble, click here.

To hear song samples from Tettey's new album, Nokoko, click here or scroll down.

(HINT: Track #10 is recorded with great Kashaka rhythms!)


Photo and Design: © Gabby Marshall

To see new video clips of Tettey playing different rhythms, click here.

Nii Tettey Tetteh is an internationally acclaimed musician, educator and composer from Southern Ghana, and his father was a fisherman. His family is the hereditary keeper of his village's royal drums. He has kept up this family tradition all of his life by struggling to maintain and nurture the traditional instruments, music and rhythms of West Africa. He teaches and performs all over the world, and wherever he goes, he brings his Kashakas.

He is from the Ga people, and in his language, a Kashaka is called a "snuff container". About 100 years ago, adults used the small gourds to hold their snuff, a form of tobacco used for sniffing. Young people who weren't interested in tobacco used the gourds for a better purpose, by putting stones in them instead and tying them together with string. Today, many Ghaneans enjoy using Kashakas to make basic rhythms.

Nii Tettey Tetteh has not only mastered how to play 2 Kashakas at once, he plays different rhythms in each hand, creating beautiful and complex polyrhythms. He demonstrates them to students and audiences wherever he travels, and has inspired hundreds of people to lean to play Kashakas.

Now, through the internet and an instructional video created with Rhythm Kingdom (coming soon!), Nii Tettey Tetteh will be able to reach thousands of new people like you and show you the fun you can have playing Kashakas.

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an extraordinary ensemble of musicians and dancers based in Ghana, West Africa. Founded by Nii Tettey Tetteh, the group includes past and present members of The National Ballet and The Pan African Orchestra.


Photo: © Gabby Marshall

Although rooted in traditional music, the group has developed a new brand of music and dance they have dubbed “Nokoko.” They have created innovative rhythms and dances by fusing bass and lead guitar, electrifying jazz and African rhythms, and traditional Ghanaian instruments.In their quest to develop a new style of Ghanaian music, they have been dazzling audiences in Ghana and around the world.

With headlines reading “Kusun Electrifies Frenzied Audience” and reviews proclaiming the Kusun Ensemble’s sound as a “revival of a vital art,” the band is now considered one of Ghana’s most innovative and powerful music and dance ensembles. By blending the authentic sounds of traditional instruments with the exuberance of hilife music and the complexity of African jazz, they are developing a unique Ghanaian sound and bringing the tropical passion of West African music and dance to the world stage.

The Kusun Ensemble toured the U.S.A. in 2002, packing theatres and wowing festival audiences in the Eastern U.S. They have performed throughout Ghana and toured Australia in 2000. Many of the members have also been teaching drumming and dance at the Kusun Study Center in Nungua, Accra. This center was built by Nii Tettey Tetteh to promote the traditional arts of Ghana, to teach both local people and international students about Ghanaian music and culture.

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Songs from his album NOKOKO

(available at our online store)

Note: You should be listening to a 30 second loop of the title track to NOKOKO (Track #8) To hear other songs, first press pause beside Nokoko below, and then click on any underlined song and you will hear a 30 second sample.


1. JAH (5:45)

2. Bawa (5:50)

3. Rubbish (6:15)

4. Kundu (6:50)

5. Yaalai (3:40)

6. Ogbame (7:45)

7. Korkordene (1:55)



8. Nokoko (6:35)

9. Ga Highlife (5:10)

10. Wegwan (5:05) *There are some great Kashaka rhythms recorded on this song!!!

11. Awo (4:10)



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