Press Room


Amir ElSaffar

Rivers of Sound

April 14, 2020



Trumpet player and composer Amir ElSaffar has long explored the connections between Iraqi maqam and jazz improvisation in his expansive compositions. ElSaffar's score was featured in Ragamala Dance Company's visit to Cal Performances two seasons ago, and here he brings together 17 musicians from Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Western jazz traditions in a kaleidoscopic new program. His layered, trancelike music combines microtonal melodies floating over a richly textured bed of strings and winds, and a bubbling, ever-shifting rhythmic backdrop.

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PHOTO 1
Pictured: Amir ElSaffar performs Rivers of Sound Thursday, April 14, 2020 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: Michael Crommett)

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PHOTO 2
Pictured: Amir ElSaffar performs Rivers of Sound Thursday, April 14, 2020 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: Michael Crommett)

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