Tanka Fonta was born in the highland region of Cameroon in west-central Africa where he pursued his formal educational studies. He has pursued a wide variety of interests in the arts, music, cultures of the world & education. He has also conducted extensive independent research into contemporary, art music, folk & traditional African music.
A prolific author & composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, researcher & scholar of traditional African music, Tanka Fonta has also been actively engaged in other professions; as a visual artist, exhibiting at galleries in Cameroon, Canada, USA, & Germany.
Fluent in diverse musical idioms, genres & styles, Tanka Fonta also writes from a poetical, literal & philosophical background, often integrating themes & motifs from different musical cultures of the world. A strong & converging point in his works & compositional palette are his eloquent use & employment of diversified subject matters, themes, motifs & variegated musical idioms.
With over a 100 published works for orchestra, small & mixed ensembles, quartets, trios & for solo instrumentation, some of his recently published works include; Incantations of a Bantu Mask, Visions & Ideograms, Themes & Variations of an African Dance in G Major, Elation of the Gods I, Fulani Flute Dance, Drums & Faces of the Night, The Birth of Dawn & The Initiation Dances I.
He has featured in the documentary film, “ African Brush Strokes”. In addition he is a frequent performer in numerous festivals, concerts & has appeared in Vues D’Afrique, Coup de Coeur festivals in Montreal, du Maurier Jazz festival & many others.
Other professional concurrent activities include, lecture programs on African music, concerts, recitals, artist in residence projects, recordings & educational programs on African music in schools & colleges in Canada, USA & Germany.
Tanka Fonta plays: Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, a variety of traditional African hand percussion & string instruments.