Globally renowned South African guitarist Derek Gripper is bringing his immersive concert experience, ‘Music from the Strings of Mali’, to Australia from 19 January to 15 February 2024. The tour promises an unforgettable show featuring a unique blend of West African rhythms, timeless Classical, and inspiring melodies from Toumani Diabaté, Arvo Pärt and Bach.
‘Music from the Strings of Mali’ will visit Australia’s major capital cities, from Brisbane and Gold Coast, down to Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide before crossing to Perth. A number of shows will also be on offer for those in regional Victoria and Western Australia.
The upcoming tour follows a string of successful sold-out shows in the United States of America, including back-to-back performances in Washington, plus tours in Europe and South Africa. It will be Gripper’s first Australian tour since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Derek Gripper has gained international acclaim for his groundbreaking work in transcribing and recording some of the most intricate compositions of the kora, a 21-stringed West African harp, onto acoustic guitar. His groundbreaking technique of translating these sounds offer music lovers a unique immersive musical exploration that bridges continents and genres.
Commenting on his upcoming Australian tour, Derek Gripper said: “Returning to Australia is a special moment for me, marking my first tour here since the pandemic. The ‘Music from the Strings of Mali’ tour is a celebration of the rich African repertoire that I’ve been honored to bring to the classical guitar. I look forward to sharing the magic and cultural diversity of this music with Australian audiences.”
Gripper’s transformative journey began with the release of his first album, ‘One Night on Earth’, his initial venture into kora translations. The album drew praise from celebrated classical guitarist, John Williams, who proclaimed it “absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it”, while kora maestro Toumani Diabaté asked for confirmation that it was indeed just one person playing.
Both invited Derek to collaborate with them: Derek performed with Williams in London’s Shakespeare’s Globe and King’s Place, and with Diabaté and his Symmetric Orchestra at the Acoustik Festival Bamako, Mali. His 2016 Carnegie Hall debut paired him with Mali’s Trio da Kali, and the UK’s Songlines honoured him with best album in Africa and the Middle East for his 2016 album “Libraries on Fire.”
Derek’s ground-breaking exploration continues through recent recordings such as ‘A Year of Swimming’, ‘Billy Goes to Durban’, and ‘Sleep Songs for My Daughter’, introducing 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’ reflects Derek Gripper’s transformative compositions, challenging conventional ideas and exploring the boundaries of musical interpretation. It promises Australian audiences a raw, authentic experience – a musical expedition that embodies the human spirit in its highs and lows, its mastery and its quest for learning.
Don’t miss this very special concert tour, online bookings only at www.concertsaustralia.com/derek.
Assets (including photo, video and audio tracks):
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55QnOlXckOk
Video file downloads: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PQc-zJtS3pmGuMlhNcsjXMIju1pasMyv?usp=sharing
Organiser: Concerts Australia,oncertsaustralia.com
Testimonials:– SIMON BROUGHTON, SONGLINES MAGAZINE
“Five stars… Gripper has brilliantly transferred [the kora] repertoire onto a regular six string guitar. He sees [Toumani] Diabaté as the Segovia, or indeed John Williams, of the kora, championing it as a solo instrument. And Gripper brilliantly takes it back to the guitar. He’s opening a whole new repertoire of classical guitar music… bringing African guitar into the classical mainstream.
“Gripper has cracked it… his playing has a depthless beauty, which does full justice to the complexity of Toumani’s compositions. To do so without any hint of the music being dumbed down is a staggering achievement on solo guitar.”— NIGEL WILLIAMSON, SONGLINES MAGAZINE
“More than a labour of love, Gripper has brought a new purity to the dream-like improvisatory nature of these compositions. My recording of the year, so far!”
— TIM PANTING, CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE
“The result is astounding, not just for its technical brilliance, but its musicality. Gripper executes these pieces with the precision and attention to detail one might expect from a great classical musician… It’s hard to imagine a more impressive and passionate rendering of Malian music on classical guitar.”— BANNING EYRE, AFROPOP WORLDWIDE
All Derek Gripper Tour Dates and Locations:
Jan 19 and 20
Woodville Town Hall
74/76 Woodville Rd, Woodville South SA 5011, Australia
Geelong West Town Hall
153 Pakington St, Geelong West VIC 3218
Mount Eliza Community Hall
90-100 Canadian Bay Rd,
Mount Eliza, VIC 3930
Malmsbury Town Hall
91 Mollison St,
Malmsbury VIC 3446
Rowville Performing Arts Centre,
Humphreys Way, Rowville VIC 3178
Collingwood Town Hall,
140 Hoddle St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Jan 29, 30, 31
Marrickville Town Hall
303 Marrickville Rd,
Marrickville NSW 2204
Sandgate Town Hall
Cliff and Seymour St
Sandgate, QLD 4001
Broadbeach Cultural Centre
Hooker Blvd &, Sunshine Blvd,
Broadbeach Waters QLD 4218
Feb 5, 6
James Fairfax Theatre
National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Pl E, Parkes ACT 2600
Joy Shepherd Performing Arts Centre,
26 Bay View Terrace
Mosman Park WA 6012
Esperance Civic Centre
Esperance WA 6450
Albany Town Hall
217 York St,
Albany WA 6330
Southwest Italian Club
13 White St,
East Bunbury WA 6230
Armadale District Hall
Cnr Jull Street & Church Avenue,
Armadale WA 6112