World Guitar with Derek Gripper & Debashish Bhattachrya

  • Sept. 30, 2017, 8:00 pm
  • Fermilab Ramsey Auditorium
  • Derek Gripper
  • Debashish Bhattachrya
  • Tickets: $24 for adults $12 for students Eligible for Early Bird, Bison, Senior/Military and Group Discounts
  • Purchase tickets »
South African Kora Guitar and Indian Slide Guitar

Two World Music instrumental virtuosos join together for a historic tour when South African kora guitarist DEREK GRIPPER and Indian slide guitarist DEBASHISH BHATTACHARYA make their North American touring debut in Fall 2017. Each has re-defined the styles of music possible on their instruments, inventing new playing techniques, and composing new works which bring out the full array of their talents.

This special collaboration is offered jointly with The Awesome Company.

The result is astounding, not just for its technical brilliance, but its musicality. Gripper executes these pieces with the precision and attention to detail one might expect from a great classical musician…It’s hard to imagine a more impressive and passionate rendering of Malian music on classical guitar. – Afropop Worldwide

Derek began his formal musical training at the age of six on the violin. After studying classical music for the next thirteen years he began to look further afield for musical inspiration. This search took him to India where he studied South Indian Carnatic music. On his return home he began to focus on the guitar, trying to find a new direction for the instrument. He was attracted to the use of multiple layers in the music of Oliver Messiaen, the African-influenced structures of Steve Reich, as well as to arrangements of the music of J.S.Bach, but it was when he met up with Cape Jazz trumpeter Alex van Heerden that he started to see find new directions for the music of South Africa.

After a host of groundbreaking albums which redefined the landscape of South African music, Derek explored his long-time fascination with the music of Brazilian Egberto Gismonti, which led to a project to transcribe this musician’s guitar music, resulting in The Sound of Water, Derek Gripper’s recording of the music of Egberto Gismonti was nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA) for the best Classical and Instrumental album of 2012.

In 2009 Derek began studying the playing techniques of this instrument by learning traditional Malian compositions on the kora, and two years later had a breakthrough: by using the simple textural language of the Spanish renaissance lute (called vihuela), it was possible to play the highly complex kora compositions of the great Malian virtuoso Toumani Diabate on the six string guitar, without omitting a note of the original performances. Gripper’s project to create an African repertoire for the classical guitar, based on transcriptions of works by some of Africa’s greatest musicians, resulted in a growing collection of outstanding African guitar arrangements, with works by Toumani Diabaté, Ballaké Sissoko, Ali Farka Touré, Amadou Bansand Jobarteh, South African bow player Madosini and others, bringing the guitar and the music of African to life in new and exciting ways.

He won a Grammy nomination and a BBC World Music award for his last two albums, and here’s yet another reminder that Debashish Bhattacharya is one of the most inventive classically influence musicians working in india – and a likely contender for even greater success in the west.  – The Guardian

Indian Raga Music thrives on improvisation. No two performances by the same musician produce the same result. For a musician with substance, therefore, the sky is the limit. . Debashish Bhattacharya is one of these amazing musicians whose dynamism of artistry and creativity place him as a genius.  His debut at the age of four was broadcast by All India Radio, Calcutta, and was blessed by the late Ustad Karamatullah Khan of Farukhabad Gharana who accompanied him on the tabla. At twenty he received President of India Award for winning the national music competition of All India Radio. His charisma as a musician, composer, innovator, revolutionary, Guru, and the Director of International Slide Guitar Parivar (family) has attracted devotees of music from all corners of the world.

The performer in Debashish has the rare ability to communicate to each one of his listeners through his instrument in every performance. He has introduced a new finger style as well as playing style combining thumb and index finger. This produces capabilities which were technically impossible on a slide guitar earlier. A dedicated Guru and pathfinder, Debashish has written a syllabus on Indian Classical Guitar, the first of its kind, which includes technical terminologies and abbreviations.

Debashish’s uncanny sense of musical understanding has established him as a recording artist whose perfect musicality matches all categories of music be it Indian, or any kind of classical, jazz, blues, folk or New Music. The composer in him does not believe in the East and the West in music. Universal Human Music is his faith and he believes that it gives peace and joy to the believers.