South African Guitarist Derek Gripper at MACC, Jan. 31

January 12, 2019, 7:34 PM HST · Updated January 11, 11:36 AM
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South African guitarist Derek Gripper makes his Maui debut with a solo concert in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s McCoy Studio Theater Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Derek Gripper is a well-accomplished musician whose passion and attention to detail has won him recognition worldwide. The recognition Gripper has achieved is derived from producing an extraordinary musical style from his home country of South Africa; fusing the country’s disparate creative traditions with other musical styles from around the world.

Derek Gripper, South African guitarist, will perform at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Jan. 31, 2019. PC: MACC.

Gripper’s music draws on European classical traditions, avant-garde Brazilian works, Malian kora (a West African 21-string instrument) works, several of Cape Town’s folk styles, and even Indian classical music, synthesizing them into a style uniquely his own. He has ten albums to his credit including his latest, Libraries on Fire.

Derek Gripper’s 2018/2019 concerts explore the dialogue between the different styles that inform his work. Quotations of Bach, Malian songs, virtuosic kora compositions, Southern African bow music, and avant-garde Brazilian guitar music combine to create a new solo guitar sound which is improvised and composed, traditional and new.

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In these solo concerts, sometimes a continuous hour or more of uninterrupted music, the guitar is explored in all its possibilities. Even the tuning and retuning becomes part of the instrument’s musical resources converting it from moment to moment to new tonalities and resonances as the music finds the common ground between Derek’s diverse interests and abilities. This kind of extended improvisation and recomposition of such diverse repertoire is rarely seen in the world of classical guitar and presents a new possibility for African guitar and a new expression of the music of great African composers.

Tickets are $40 plus applicable fees and are available at the MACC Box Office and by phone at 242 SHOW Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and online anytime at MauiArts.org. There is a ten percent discount for MACC members and kids 12 and under are half-price. MACC memberships or member renewals are available on the MACC website: MauiArts.org/membership.

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