Koffi Toudji uses drums, dance and a little humor to benefit the Koffi Togo band

Koffi Toudji has been making a positive impact on Denver as a drummer, dancer and teacher of both for more than half a decade, and now he wants to take his energy full circle. Toudji is originally from Kpalimé in Togo, West Africa, and he's putting on the Koffi Togo fundraiser this Saturday, February 25, at Stanley British Primary School so that his band can travel to Togo. "We are doing it to raise funds to take my group members to my hometown, to learn about my culture and bring that back to the community here in denver," Toudji says of his mission.

Toudji's music and dance resume is long, stretching from his integral role as an instructor, choreographer and director at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble to his work as a percussion teacher at the University of Colorado and Stanley British. He leads workshops and immersion programs focusing on West African culture through the non-profit Zota Cultural Group, and helped form the multi-drum Pan-Africa Ensemble.

For Koffi Togo, Toudji is joined by fellow musicians who provide both entertainment and instruction to adults and kids. Saturday's show will raise money for the group's upcoming visit to West Africa, and also introduce the Denver community to Koffi Togo's sound. The act's energetic and humorous performance will be complemented by bluegrass group The Olsson Trio, as well as the banjo-playing head of Stanley, Tim Barrier.

A silent auction will also be held to support the trip, with biddable items including drum and voice lessons, various student tutoring opportunities, baked goods and more. The all-ages showcase begins at 7 p.m. at Stanley British Primary, 350 Quebec Court. Tickets run $5 to $25, and can be purchased in advance through Koffi Toudji's website or at the door.

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