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URI guitar festival participating musician Derek Gripper.

How did you first hear about the festival, and what made you want to get involved?

Adam and I were part of The International Guitar Quartet - a residency project in Ireland where we worked together with two other guitarists and performed a concert together. Adam enjoyed my solo performance at this concert and invited me to the festival.

What sort of music will you be playing, and what will you cover in any master workshops, classes and/or lectures?

I will be playing music from West Africa - my translations of Malian kora compositions. In the lectures I will be showing students how one can learn from this tradition and reinvigorate the classical tradition. I will also be working with students on the relationship between thoughts and performance and how to use new ways of thinking to achieve better results in performance.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to spending some days with great guitarists and sharing ideas.

What advice do you have for aspiring musicians?

Try to avoid getting involved in all the politics of what is right and wrong and remember that music is play and that this connection to play and spontaneity is what makes music a valuable part of our lives.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you or your work, ahead of the festival?

I am about to release an album of Bach interpretations inspired by my work with the music of Mali.

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