Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur (hammered dulcimer) player, vocalist, and composer Amir ElSaffar has mastered disparate musical styles and created a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. A recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and a 2018 United States Artists Fellow, he is also a purveyor of the centuries old, now endangered, Iraqi maqam tradition, which he performs actively. ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound Orchestra brings together 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions, creating an entirely new musical vocabulary that transcends established notions of style. As the orchestra’s treatment of pitches and rhythms become fluid, so do cultural boundaries; elements that traditionally divide musicians into separate genres are recontextualized in a fresh transcultural soundscape. This musical alchemy led the Chicago Tribune to call ElSaffar “one of the most promising figures in jazz today.”
Saturday, April 18th - 7:30 PM
See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.