One of the most promising figures in jazz today.

The Chicago Tribune

Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound Orchestra

Trumpet player and composer Amir ElSaffar has long explored the connections between Iraqi maqam and jazz improvisation in his expansive compositions. His gorgeous score was a highlight of 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. ElSaffar's layered, trancelike music combines microtonal melodies floating over a richly textured bed of strings and winds, and a bubbling, ever-shifting rhythmic backdrop. "A towering statement of purpose—wise to many traditions, even while it remains accessible to anyone" (Pitchfork).


Donor Benefits

Donor Parking
As a service to our donors at the $750 level and above, we offer the opportunity to reserve parking for our performances. Reserve parking online 5 business days or more in advance of the performance, or by contacting Cal Performances' Development Department at 510.642.8653 or email

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Additional information regarding donor parking benefits can be found on our Donor Services/Parking page.

Program Notes

Program notes will be available approximately one week before the performance.