“With a full stomach and a happy heart I nestled in the long grass of the tea party stage to have my ears massaged by the perfect intricacies of Mr. Derek Gripper’s immaculate, finger-style guitar playing prowess. Most of the time he was playing 2 bass lines and 2 lead lines on the same guitar without a loop pedal. His vocals were sincere and majestic. His microphone technique was remarkably astounding. He received a standing ovation before the resonance of the last note ended. Bravo! No surprise that he’ll be sharing the stage with the legendary John Williams next March.” [Billie Thomason, Homegrown Music] Read full article
“Performing on the Lays Stage to a full house at the recent Harare International Festival of the Arts, Gripper enthralled audiences with a repertoire that included classical, African and contemporary pieces…Gripper pretty much broke every rule of guitar playing. His fingers were all over the place, smacking the body, the fret bars and he even purposely de- tuned while he was plucking, but each motion added another layer to the musical journey…Gripper’s ability is certainly the fruit of years of dedication to his craft.” [The Citizen] Read full article
“There was much anticipation for the Derek Gripper show at the Lay’s Global Stage. As the crowd filled the amphitheatre, silence followed as the Swiss Ambassador, H.E.Mr Alexander Wittwer, opened with a short speech, stressing the importance of bringing highly talented artists to HIFA.
The venue was soon engulfed by rhythmic melodies of yesteryear. Drawing his inspiration from Malian, Indian and Arabic folk music, Gripper almost like a snake charmer on the sidewalks of Mumbai or Bamako, hypnotised the audience with his incredible ability to transform the sounds of a regular guitar into the majestic kora and African bow. There was no need for the accompaniment of lyrics as the audience was instead mesmerised by his fingers and his own trance-like state, that really made this performance an incredible experience. Gripper showed the true power of music as it is offered at HIFA – the magical ability to remain in your heart and mind long after HIFA has ended.” [HIFA LUTIN, 3rd May, 2012]