Solo Acoustic Guitarist | African and Contemporary | Composer and Performer

Strings, Skins and Stories.



Sunday the 8th of December



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Londoner Gavin Bonner has travelled the world for 20 years studying, performing and teaching music, poetry and storytelling. His specialities are North African and Middle Eastern drums and he has a unique ability to tell stories absolutely spontaneously and in rhyme. He has performed at Glastonbury Festival , huge auditoriumns , small theatres , peoples front rooms and once in a London telephone box . To see reviews and footage check out

” Stories have many feet. Gavin Bonner gives them wings ” – Argus

“I not only laughed, I jumped up and clapped! Seriously, seeing is believing.”- Herald

“He combines, honours and subverts genres and has created a delightful style of his own that connects simply yet deeply ” – Tonight 


In his latest recording “One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali”, Derek Gripper has arranged and performed on classical guitar the compositions of legendary Malian musicians Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré and Ballaké Sissoke. The extraordinary feat of this recording can only be imagined when one considers that this music was originally composed for and played on the kora, a 21 string African harp-lute, one of Africa’s most beautiful of instruments. UK’s top world music  publication Songlines Magazine called the album ”a staggering achievement,” selecting the recording as a Top of the World album in March 2013.

The release has seen a storm of international and local invitations, with Derek performing in the last few months in Sweden, Norway, Turkey and the Ellnora Guitar Festival in USA where he shared the bill with blues legend Buddy Guy and flamenco master Paco Pena as well as Kaki King, Dweezil Zappa and many others. World renowned classical guitar legend John Williams heard One Night on Earth and immediately invited Derek to join him for a concert at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London next year. Derek will play this concert during a tour which will take him back to Norway and Sweden as well as to Holland, Wales and the US for a guitar festival in New York. Breaking away from the world of music, Derek has also become the first South African artist to be commissioned to create an artwork for the city of Stockholm: a multi layered sound work composed and recorded by Derek will run in Stockholm for one year, starting in September 2014.

“astounding…it’s hard to imagine a more impressive and passionate rendering of Malian music on classical guitar.” [Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide]

“…a staggering achievement.” [Nigel Williamson, Songlines Magazine]

”….an excellent album…that leaves you feeling a little more than human, a little better than human.” [Chris Roper, Mail and Guardian]

“Gripper is able to transcend the instrument with his performances…” Guitar International

“a gentle masterpiece.” The Times UK

“an open-minded fusion of classical and indigenous.” Art South Africa


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