An epic exploration

2011-04-01 00:00

SOUTH African guitarist Derek Gripper and Indian tabla master Udai Mazumdar will be performing around KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in early April.

The duo began their collaboration with a spontaneous performance in a Basel (Switzerland) jazz club in 2009. They met again in 2010 to perform in the Western Cape, and to record their CD Rising, an epic exploration of the possibilities presented by the combination of a highly original guitar style, and the language of the classical Indian tabla, a set of two drums played by the hands and capable of a wide range of pitches and sounds.

Their subsequent work together has initiated a cross-cultural dialogue of spontaneous music-making, combining the complex rhythmic structures of Indian classical music with the sounds of Malian kora, African guitar, contemporary Brazilian music, Western Cape koortjie, and the techniques of classical guitar.

Udai’s many years of study and performances with some of India’s greatest musicians (including Pandit Ravi Shankar and Zakir Hussain), and Derek’s “new Cape” guitar music make for an unlikely combination, but the musical affinity between these highly trained and perfectly matched musicians speaks for itself.

Their 2011 tour sees Derek and Udai collaborating with a diverse array of musicians at different points in their schedule. In KZN they play with acoustic guitar wizard Guy Buttery, in Johannesburg they team up with trumpet legend Marcus Wyatt, and in Pretoria they perform a double bill with Greg Georgiades and Ashish Joshi. After the duo’s shows in Swaziland, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, and Cape Town they will continue their collaboration with shows in Switzerland, accompanied by classical Indian vocalist and harmonium player Piu Nandi. The South African leg of Udai and Derek’s tour is sponsored by Pro Helvetia with the help of Arts On Main.

For more information on shows see the gig guide, and to order their CD visit New Cape‘s catalogue will be on sale at all shows for the discount price of R100.


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