On April 16th Amir ElSaffar premiered a new work, Not Two, with his Rivers of Sound ensemble to a standing-room only audience at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. The 17 member ensemble featured artists from all over the world from traditions ranging from American jazz to Iraqi maqam weaving an intense sonic landscape that left the audience mesmerized and roaring with applause. Following the performance the ensemble headed into the studio to work on the Rivers of Sound debut album to be released in Spring 2016. View photos of the Rivers of Sound ensemble here.
Also on the horizon is the release of Amir ElSaffar’s Two Rivers Ensemble’s third album, Crisis (Pi Recordings), on July 24th. Details to come.
On Thursday, April 16th Amir ElSaffar will premiere a new work, Not Two, with his Rivers of Sound ensemble. The ensemble features 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions, from maqam to American jazz. Using resonance as its governing principle, the music incorporates elements of maqam modal music of the Middle East with jazz and other contemporary musical practices to create a unique microtonal musical environment that moves beyond the notions of style and tradition into a realm of uninhibited musical communication. Click here for details.
Amir ElSaffar returned to Newport Jazz Festival for the second year in a row this time with his quintet featuring John Escreet, Francois Moutin, Dan Weiss, and Ole Mathisen. Check out these great photos of the group by Adam Kissick for NPR Music!
Photo by Adam Kissick for NPR
Along side the likes of Gerald Clayton, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding and Ambrose Akinmusire, Amir ElSaffar was listed as one of the “coolest” artists of the next generation of jazz. Read more in Downbeat.
Rivers of Sound is a 60-minute work composed for an ensemble of 17 instrumentalists and vocalists of diverse musical backgrounds, performing on Arab, Central Asian, South Asian, and Western instruments. Rivers of Sound is an outgrowth of the Two Rivers large ensemble and incorporates elements of maqam with jazz and other contemporary musical practices to create a musical environment that moves beyond the notions of style and tradition into a realm of uninhibited musical communication. Learn more about the MAP Fund.