Derek Gripper: Music from the Strings of Mali

“Derek Gripper’s concert was an experience to behold. His performance stirred a spontaneous standing ovation and sparked a surge of inquiries about his return. If you ever have the chance to see him play, don’t miss it!”
– Michael MacManus, Melbourne Guitar Festival Director

About


“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 melodies of the African kora. This unforgettable night will feature a unique blend of West African rhythms, timeless Classical, and inspiring melodies from Arvo Pärt and Bach.

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.

Agnes Flanagan Chapel: A Venue Like No Other

Located in Portland, Agnes Flanagan Chapel stands out with its distinct 16-sided design. On entering, the suspended Casavant pipe organ immediately catches your eye, presenting an impressive visual spectacle with its nearly 5,000 pipes.

The circular seating arrangement of the chapel provides an intimate setting, ensuring every attendee feels connected to the performance. Moreover, the venue’s excellent acoustics make it an ideal environment for a guitar concert, where every note resonates with perfect clarity throughout the space.

In the evening, the stained glass windows of the chapel diffuse the fading light, casting a serene, multicolored glow that adds to the unique ambience of the venue.

The Agnes Flanagan Chapel offers more than just a concert – it’s an immersive experience that combines remarkable architecture, superior acoustics, and an intimate setting, promising a memorable event for all attendees.

What the critics are saying...

“…opening a whole new repertoire of classical guitar music.”
— SIMON BROUGHTON, EVENING STANDARD

“a staggering achievement on solo guitar.”
— NIGEL WILLIAMSON, SONGLINES MAGAZINE

“hard to imagine a more impressive and passionate rendering of Malian music on classical guitar.”
— BANNING EYRE, AFROPOP WORLDWIDE

July 7th, Portland, OR

Location
Agnes Flanagan Chapel,
Gregg Pavilion, Lewis & Clark, Portland, OR 97219, United States
Time
(Friday) 7:30pm - 9pm
Location
The Old Fugard Theatre (The Star Theatre)
9 Caledon St, District Six, Cape Town, 7925
Time
(Sunday) 5pm – 6:30pm
Location
Clarion Performing Arts Center, 2 Waverly Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA ($6 all-day parking at St. Mary’s Square Garage)
Time
(Wednesday) 7pm – 8:30pm
Location
Mildred Owen Concert Hall 1220 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica, CA 94044
Time
(Thursday) 7:30pm – 9pm
Location
Mildred Owen Concert Hall 1220 Linda Mar Blvd, Pacifica, CA 94044
Time
(Thursday) 7:30pm – 9pm
Location

The Olympia Ballroom
​116 Legion Way SE
Olympia, WA, USA

Time

(Wednesday) 7:30pm – 9pm

Location
Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98118, United States
Time
(Thursday) 7:30pm – 9pm