From Cape Town, Derek Gripper transcribes the kora music of Mali, including the music of Toumani Diabaté and other West African composers, for classical six-string guitar. The results mark a meeting point of the written tradition of Western classical music and the oral tradition of the West African griots. Reacting to his ninth album release, "One Night On Earth" guitar legend John Williams said he thought it was "absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it". Toumani Diabaté himself asked for confirmation that it was indeed just one person playing one guitar. Both immediately invited Derek to collaborate with them, Williams at three different concerts in London, and Diabaté at the Acoustik Festival Bamako, Mali. Derek’s latest album, "Libraries on Fire" won a Songlines Award for Best African and Middle Eastern Album 2017. Derek’s next releases are a recording of Bach’s solo violin works, transcribed for guitar, a new record of African songs and a duo record with cellist Mike Block.
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