Concerts & Events

Wednesday, February 7, 2018  ♦  8:30 PM

Derek Gripper

World Music Wednesday

4545 N Lincoln Ave · The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall · 773.728.6000

  • World Music Wednesdays

    A weekly showcase of world music and dance featuring the best local and touring talent! Most shows are Wednesday nights at 8:30 PM.

    Most World Music Wednesday concerts are free with a $10 suggested donation. TO GUARANTEE YOUR ENTRY MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE EITHER ONLINE OR BY CALLING THE BOX OFFICE AT 773.728.6000. Reservations unclaimed 10 minutes before showtime will be released to waiting patrons.

  • The remarkable South African guitarist Derek Gripper transcribes more music from West Africa's kora masters for guitar to stunning effect on his new album Libraries on Fire. The album is a follow up to his critically acclaimed 2012 album One Night On Earth: Music From the Strings Of Mali, an album which was described as “a staggering achievement” by Songlines Magazine.

    In Libraries on Fire, Gripper takes on further works from the great kora maestros; Toumani Diabaté, Ballaké Sissoko and Sekou Batourou Kouyate. Gripper conjures anew a centuries-old ancient African musical heritage, interpreting complex kora compositions (21 string harp) on solo guitar, a feat which classical guitar legend John Williams said he thought was “absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it.”

    Derek has held a fascination for the works of Toumani Diabaté since first hearing his debut album Kaira back in 2002, and has taken on the astounding challenge of recreating these works for guitar ever since. However, the opportunity for him to meet or witness Toumani play live did not arise until January 2016, after Toumani Diabaté heard Derek Gripper's recordings, and asked his producer Lucy Durán to confirm that she had actually seen one person play this music on just one guitar. He immediately invited Derek to collaborate with him in Mali, an invitation which saw Derek performing at the Acoustik Festival Bamako in early 2016.

    Libraries On Fire is the tenth album from this incredible musician whose passion and attention to detail has won him recognition the world over. For over ten years Derek Gripper has produced some of South Africa's most extraordinary works by fusing the country's disparate creative traditions with styles throughout the world. His music draws on European classical traditions, avant-garde Brazilian works, Malian kora works, Cape Town's folk styles such as ghoema/goema and vastrap, and even Indian Classical music, all the while synthesizing then into a style uniquely his own.

    Derek Gripper offers an extraordinary voice in post-apartheid South African cultural landscape, one that demonstrates the countries new musical confidence forging fresh paths though cross-genre, cross-generational and cross-cultural collaborations.

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000