Solo Acoustic Guitarist | African and Contemporary | Composer and Performer

Turkey and Carlo Dominiconi

The Gumusluk Classical Music Festival was started ten years ago by my old friend Eren Levendoglu who is a fabulous pianist. We lived and studied together a long time ago and met up again at the Harare International Festival of Arts last year. The idea behind the festival is to being students of classical music… Continue Reading

White Man Black Music

I was recently asked this question in an interview: “On your website you talk of your project to create an African repertoire for the classical guitar. Some Africans might not appreciate this and interpret it as yet another instance of African culture being co-opted by European culture. What would you say to anyone throwing that… Continue Reading

March Mailing List Letter

Just after I sent this to subscribers of my mailing list I found out that One Night on Earth has been nominated for a SAMA Award…http://samusicawards.co.za/page/the-19th-annual-mtn-south-african-music-awards-nominees Dear Friends It seems that the album we made together, me with many hours of playing and transcribing Toumani’s beautiful music, and you with your support and contributions and… Continue Reading

An Introduction to Montessori Guitar

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MONTESSORI GUITAR METHOD By DEREK GRIPPER (BMus, MMus, Dipl. Montessori Elementary) What Happens When Music Gets Too Loud? I read an interview with Nick Gold recently. He recorded the Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré. Apparently Ali used to play so softly when he played to himself. But when he recorded he… Continue Reading

Pay-What-You-Want: Why?

I have been engaged in heady philosophical debate with anybody who cares to listen for some weeks now. The question being: at a time when One Night on Earth is getting excellent press attention and opening doors on all fronts, am I being crazy to insist that people who download the digital file from my… Continue Reading

My Guitar is 10 in 2013

“…the ideal (for some) is a piece of really good spruce, left to mature for a few years. A hundred will do…” My guitar is ten years old this year. It was made in 2003 in Reisbach, Bavaria, by Hermann Hauser III, the grandson of Hermann Hauser who made one of the most famous classical… Continue Reading

One Night on Earth gets Twoshoesed

We are busy preparing a brand new edition of One Night on Earth. The limited edition first release is now almost sold out and in preparation for the international iTunes release and for getting more copies into shops around South Africa, Cape Town’s iconic designer Toby Twoshoes has lent his eye to a new cover.… Continue Reading

Learning Music in the Digital Age

One of the things that appeals to me most about musicians like Toumani Diabate who are part of a distinct musical culture is that these musicians speak a finite musical language, and they speak it as a first language. Before the invention of a written musical tradition this was, I imagine, the only way to… Continue Reading

Toumani Diabaté Re-Imagines Bach

I am booked to play a concert of Bach and Toumani Diabaté in a few weeks time, for the Karoo Klassique classical music festival in the Karoo  town of Oudsthoorn. Yesterday I played the Ciaccona  for the first time in years. I have a long history with this piece, a history which can be read about… Continue Reading