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Event Archive - Derek Gripper

Thu. October 27th 2016 Hermann's Jazz Club (All Ages)
8:00 - 10:00 doors at 6:30
$22.00 in advance/VJs members | $25.00 at the door
Presented by: Victoria Jazz Society
South African guitarist Derek Gripper discovered a delicate and breathtaking new art-form in his transcriptions of the Malian kora, a 21-string harp, breathing new life into ancient African musical heritage. Inspired by the music of West African musicians such as Toumani Diabaté, Ballaké Sissoko and Ali Farka Touré, Gripper painstakingly transcribed their compositions, resulting in a magical collection of African guitar arrangements.

Gripper’s works bring the traditional music of Africa to life on the mainstream stage, a feat that classical guitar legend John Williams said he thought was “absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it.” Derek’s “guitar has found the Kora-playing spirit, he captures the magic bound up in the way it is played”, says Williams, who invited Derek back a second time to collaborate in “The John Williams Series” at London’s Globe Theatre in June 2015, where the two musicians performed duets based on Diabaté’s kora works. When kora sensation Toumani Diabaté first heard Gripper’s recordings, he immediately extended the offer to collaborate, inviting Gripper to perform at the Acoustik Festival Bamako in early 2016.

On his ninth album, One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali, released in 2012, Derek Gripper debuted his kora arrangements, which were an anomaly in the world of classical guitar. The UK’s top world music publication, Songlines, called One Night on Earth ”a staggering achievement,” and selected the recording as a “Top of the World album” in 2013. Gripper’s most recent set of kora compositions is titled Libraries on Fire, exploring kora duets on solo guitar.


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