Derek Gripper Plays Kora Music

South African guitarist Derek Gripper plays Kora music and original pieces. This comes via NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert on YouTube. Here he plays a set of works: Tuth Jara (Trad. Arr. Gripper), Joni (Derek Gripper), Jarabi (Trad. Arr. Gripper), Duga (Trad. Arr. Gripper). I really loved this album by Gripper that I reviewed awhile back. It’s one of my favorite guitar CDs to put on for enjoyment. Here’s the NPR blurb about him: “The 38-year-old started on violin at age 6, then wound up with one of the few classical-guitar professors in his native South Africa. But touring the world playing the music of the great dead white men was not all that appealing (though Gripper still loves to play Bach). Then he heard a record by the Malian kora player Toumani Diabate. He decided that that’s what he wanted to do: not play the kora itself, but play kora music on the guitar.”

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  1. Gripper is the future of classical guitar, in both repertoire and approach. He’s also very nice, down-to-earth and approachable.