Derek Gripper & Guy Buttery
Live in Kalk Bay

Friday, Feb 23rd @ 7pm


“I hear truth, I hear meaning, I hear love and I hear hope. At times I am overcome with emotion.” 
- UK Vibe

Saturday, Feb 24th

At The Slave Church

40 Long St, Cape Town


Long-time friends and collaborators, Derek Gripper and Guy Buttery are leading exponents of the acoustic guitar scene in South Africa. The duo came together for what was their first recorded release in an improvised live concert captured in Cape Town. First heard as an exclusive premiere on NPR’s “New Sounds” radio show in the USA, their SAMA nominated album “Live in Cape Town” and concert schedule has travelled across South Africa and North America.


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.It took Derek Gripper untold hours of painstaking work to transcribe note-for-note the complex compositions of Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté and find a way of playing them on six-string guitar. The results appeared on his ninth album, “One Night on Earth”. The album created an unprecedented meeting point between the written tradition of Western classical music and the oral tradition of the West African griots.


Guy Buttery is something of a National treasure”, says South Africa’s leading newspaper The Mercury. As an internationally recognised musician, this multi-instrumentalist enjoys invitations to play sell-out performances all over the globe. The USA, UK, Australia, France, Brazil, and Italy have all welcomed him back year after year. However, to simply label Guy Buttery as one of South Africa’s musical phenoms would be an injustice. His international role has surpassed merely performing concerts to foreign audiences. It has evolved into one as an ambassador of South African music, inspiring people across the world with his homegrown style at the very heart of his talent and tenacity. Guy’s distinct unification of South African guitar music is the musical advocate for everything positive and beautiful about the place he calls home.


This duo is something of a melting pot of South African and Eastern influences crafted by two of the finest visionaries to emerge from the tip of the continent in decades.

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Balmain Town Hall, 370 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041
(Saturday) 7:30pm - 8:30pm

The Holy Trinity Church

40 Main Rd, Kalk Bay
23rd February 2024 @ 7pm


Robinson Theater
2903 Q St
Richmond, VA 23223

(Nov 30th: Thursday) 7pm – 8:20pm


All tickets are general admission.

Thank you for your interest in Derek’s concert! Due to the logistics of the event, we kindly ask that you double-check your preferred date before purchasing tickets, as we won’t be able to accommodate date changes once a purchase is made. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Derek Gripper: Music from the Strings of Mali

“One of the most interesting things I’ve heard on guitar in twenty years” – John Williams


“Music from the Strings of Mali” with Derek Gripper is not just a concert; it’s an immersive musical exploration that bridges continents and genres. As a globally renowned South African guitarist, Gripper has rewritten the narrative of classical guitar by infusing it with the captivating sounds of the West African kora.

Gripper’s transformative journey began with the release of “One Night on Earth,” his initial venture into kora translations. Celebrated classical guitarist John Williams proclaimed it seemed “absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it,” leading to collaborations that transcended borders, from London’s Shakespeare’s Globe to Acoustik Festival Bamako, Mali. Even his debut at the revered Carnegie Hall saw Gripper performing alongside Mali’s Trio da Kali, an endorsement of his revolutionary approach to music.

His ground-breaking exploration didn’t stop there. Recent recordings like “A Year of Swimming,” “Billy Goes to Durban,” and “Sleep Songs for My Daughter” introduced original compositions and improvisations, each a testament to his dedication to evolving and challenging his musical style. Moreover, his Bach recordings have been a fascinating study in the symbiosis of African music and early European melodies, revealing an uncanny natural simplicity within their intricacies.

“Music from the Strings of Mali” promises a raw, authentic experience, a musical expedition that embodies the human spirit in its highs and lows, its mastery and its quest for learning. It’s about embracing the beauty of imperfection and transformation that makes music—and life—so compelling.

Choose a performance

Click on the list below to expand

August 18, Durban

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre
Mazisi Kunene Rd, Durban, 4001
(Friday) 7:30pm – 9pm
Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre
Mazisi Kunene Rd, Durban, 4001
(Friday) 7:30pm - 9pm