Amir Elsaffar


Trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer Amir ElSaffar has distinguished himself with a mastery of diverse musical traditions and a singular approach to combining Middle Eastern musical languages with jazz and other styles of contemporary music. A recipient of the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, ElSaffar has been described as “uniquely poised to reconcile jazz and Arabic music without doing either harm,” (the Wire) and “one of the most promising figures in jazz today” (Chicago Tribune).

ElSaffar is an expert trumpeter with a classical background, conversant not only in the language of contemporary jazz, but has created techniques to play microtones and ornaments idiomatic to Arabic music that are not typically heard on the trumpet. Additionally, he is a purveyor of the centuries old, now endangered, Iraqi maqam tradition, which he performs actively as a vocalist and santur player. As a composer, ElSaffar has used the microtones found in Iraqi maqam music to create an innovative approach to harmony and melody. Described as “an imaginative bandleader, expanding the vocabulary of the trumpet and at the same time the modern jazz ensemble,” (All About Jazz), ElSaffar is an important voice in an age of cross-cultural music making. 
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Latest News

Amir Elsaffar's Rivers of Sound
Rivers of Sound is a large ensemble of instrumentalists from Western and Middle Eastern traditions exploring the confluences of a musical language that transcends notions[...]

Flutist/Composer JAMIE BAUM Inspired by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Travels in South Asia, Releases "IN THIS LIFE" (Sunnyside) Oct 8, 2013
Flutist-Composer Jamie Baum Explores Her Passion For Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Informed By Her Travels in South Asia Revealing Her Most Inspired Work To Date[...]

Friday June 19: Two Excellent Client Events in New York City
Vijay Iyer photo credit Christopher Drukker Friday June pm doors VIJAY IYER TRIO performing at Harlem s Temple M Vijay Iyer piano Stephan Crump bass[...]

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Latest Release

Rivers of Sound coming this fall…


WHYY – Radio Times

Philadelphia Inquirer 

WCPN – The Sound of Applause

Cleveland Scene

Cool Cleveland

The Chesco County Times


Press Kit

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Official Site

Amir ElSaffar on Facebook

Tour Dates

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