Otsfm logo

Concerts & Events

Wednesday, March 20, 2024  ·  8:00 PM CDT

Ballaké Sissoko & Derek Gripper

4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert 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 8:00 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.

Tonight's World Music Wednesday concert is a ticketed event

Malian virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko has taken over the mantle of greatest touring virtuoso on the kora. Ballaké is a seminal improviser with an ability to unlock every possible nuance on the kora with subtleties rarely heard on any instrument.

Derek Gripper is a classical guitarist from South Africa whose love of the kora set him transcribing and recording some of the greatest works of the instrument and starting a twenty year career performing this music all over the world, changing the face of classical guitar and giving the instrument its very first African repertoire.

The two musicians met in 2022 in Paris for one show. They share no common verbal language yet managed to perform a unique show together of completely improvised music. They returned to the stage in London a month later, and then to the recording studio for a full-length album to be released in 2023. Their performances and recordings are all achieved without any verbal communication, just a mutual love of their shared repertoire and the possibilities of the plucked string.

Taking the griot practice of spontaneous variation to a new level Ballaké and Derek explore Mande music almost as Keith Jarrett explored jazz in his improvised solo piano concerts: unpremeditated listening, allowing music to flow freely between improvisation and quotation, taking off from a shared musical language, in their case not jazz, but Manding music