Loading Events
This event has passed.

Join us for this special double bill:

Derek Gripper and
Hiroya Tsukamoto

Sunday, July 9th at 6pm
On the Village Green
203 N Beach Rd, Eastsound, WA 98245

Derek Gripper

“More than a labour of love, Gripper has brought a new purity to the dream-like improvisatory nature of these compositions. My recording of the year, so far!”— Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine

In this world of many guitarists and many musicians, Cape Town guitarist Derek Gripper stands apart, as the only guitarist in the world to have mastered the technique of the West African 21 string harp, the kora, on a classical guitar. This would have been a big achievement, but Derek’s musical influences and musical loves extend beyond the realm of translation, into another vision: to create a language of improvisation rooted in the philosophy of African music, drawing on music from beyond Africa, a global music reflecting the global nature of musical dissemination in the twenty-first century.

When Gripper released “One Night on Earth,” his 2012 album of kora translations, classical guitar legend John Williams said he thought it was “absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it,” while kora maestro Toumani Diabaté asked for confirmation that it was indeed just one person playing. Both invited Derek to collaborate with them: Derek performed with Williams in London’s Shakespeare’s Globe and King’s Place, and with Diabaté and his Symmetric Orchestra at the Acoustik Festival Bamako, Mali. His 2016 Carnegie Hall debut paired him with Mali’s Trio da Kali, and the UK’s Songlines honoured him with best album in Africa and the Middle East for his 2016 album “Libraries on Fire.”

Since these two recordings put kora/guitar on the map, his recent recordings “A Year of Swimming” (2020), “Billy Goes to Durban,” (2021) and “Sleep Songs for My Daughter” (2022), have incorporated elements of his kora explorations in original compositions and improvisations, captured on tape in the field and in studio.

Since these recordings Derek has finally realised a vision he had during a solo trip to India as a twenty-one year old budding guitarist: to have a free-flowing continuous guitar language that didn’t rely on pre-composed pieces, individual compositions and conventional guitar tonalities; a language which allowed for a continuous flow of free associations with no musical boundaries. In short, a full spontaneous mastery of the resources of the classical guitar.

To listen to a Derek Gripper concert is to witness something which has never been done on the guitar before: a multi layered music of improvisation and quotation, counterpoint and narrative breadth of symphonic forms, all nestled in the gentle body of a single acoustic guitar. To watch Derek perform a thirty minute improvisation moving through multiple guitar tunings and moving effortlessly through different narrative devices, is to see the future of the classical guitar being written anew.

On-stage Derek is both informative scholar and irreverent comedian, effortlessly shifting between conversation and music, reminding us that the art of the griot, even if only evoked by a non-griot, is the art of storytelling as much as it is the art of music-making.

Follow Derek Gripper online:

Hiroya Tsukamoto

“HiroyaTsukamoto takes us to an impressionistic journey ” -Boston Herald

Fingerpicking is delicate, fluid, and beautifully detailed” -Acoustic Guitar magazine

Hiroya Tsukamoto is an innovative guitarist and composer who fuses folk,jazz, and world music. Born and raised in Japan, in 2000 he received a scholarship to Berklee College of music and came to the U.S.

Tsukamoto’s instrumental abilities are indeed breathtaking and astounding, but his performances are so much more than that.  He has the unique capability of engaging an audience thru a personable and genuine approach that transfixes his audience and almost transcends his capabilities as a guitarist. Audience members will be mesmerized; Tsukamoto plays with an effortless skill on the guitar and a repertoire that will have you traveling the world, not to mention experiencing new sounds with his own compositions.

Tsukamoto headlines concerts throughout the U.S. as well as internationally including Blue Note in NYC, United Nations and Japanese National Television. Most recently Hiroya won 2nd place in International Finger Style Guitar Championship in 2022.