Derek Gripper Takes Guitar In A New Direction

Nov 16, 2016

South African musician Derek Gripper has been playing classical music since he was 6-years-old. But after years of studying in Cape Town, he felt uninspired by the classical guitar repertoire available to him, so he set off on a journey to discover musical inspiration from around the world. He traveled first to South India, and then explored Brazilian music before he happened upon the instrument that changed the direction of his career: the kora.

The kora is a 21-string harp from West Africa, but Gripper found a way to adapt its music to his classical guitar. Gripper has since collaborated with kora master Toumani Diabate and a number of other famous African composers and performers. Host Frank Stasio talks with Derek Gripper, a composer musician and teacher, about his musical career. ​

Watch Derek Gripper perform kora music on the guitar: