Derek Gripper @ Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

Derek Gripper @ Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

Saturday, 2 July 2022, 8.00pm

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is delighted to welcome South African guitarist, Derek Gripper who opens his mini Irish tour with a solo set. Gripper conjures anew a centuries-old ancient African musical heritage, interpreting complex kora compositions (21 string harp) on solo guitar. Completing the performance, classical guitarist Redmond O’Toole will bookend the evening with a solo set and join Gripper for a series of duos.

Derek Gripper is known for his groundbreaking technique for evoking the West African kora on the guitar. He has transcribed the complex music of Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté and infuses his interpretations of Bach’s music with lessons from the oral traditions of Africa. He has performed with Toumani Diabaté’s Symmetric Orchestra and classical guitar legend John Williams, and tours worldwide.

Since his two recordings documenting his translation of the works of Toumani Diabate, “One Night on Earth” (2011) and “Libraries on Fire” (2016) Gripper has been creating a body of original work around the theme of extended cyclical structures. Taking his cue from the improvisational language of West African griots, as well as returning to his early work re-inventing South Africa’s own cyclical ‘koortjie’ tradition, Gripper continues to expand the guitar’s harmonic and expressive potential inspired by the simplicity of the acoustic guitar, one of music’s most personal instruments.

His recent recordings, including “A Year of Swimming” (2020) and “Billy Goes to Durban,” (2021) dovetail between original compositions, spontaneous improvisation and recitations of works by composers like J.S. Bach, Arvo Pärt, Salif Keita, Fanta Sacko and Baaba Maal, bringing seemingly disparate traditions and musical practices together in a seamless guitar experience like no other.

€20 / €16 (conc) / €10 (Under 18’s with Music Generation Go See)

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