List of Works

Luminiscencia, for Flamenco voice, dance, and percussion, with electronics, viola, trumpet, and santur.
Premiere dates: February 2 (Rotterdam) and 7 (Amsterdam), 2019, Flamenco Biennale
Gema Caballero, voice; Vanesa Aibar, dance; Pablo Martin Jones, percussion; Lorenzo Bianchi-Hoesch, electronics; Dena El Saffar, violin and jowza; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet and voice.


Ahwaal, for string quartet, contrabass, clarinet, and voice
Premiere: November 24, 2018, Jazztopad Festival, Wroclaw, Poland
Lutoslawski Quartet; Waclaw Zimpel, clarinets; Amir ElSaffar, santur and voice


Cornū Luminis, for symphony orchestra
Premiere: August 11, 2018, Mammoth Lakes, CA
Eastern Sierra Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Edwin Outwater


Suite on the Green, for symphony orchestra and Rivers of Sound Orchestra
Premiere: June 17, 2018, Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT
Members of Rivers of Sound (see above) and New Haven Symphony Orchestra


Maqam/Brass Resonance, for Brass and percussion
Premiere: November 4, 2017, Berlin Jazz Festival
Yorgos Dimitriadis, drums; Robin Hayward, microtonal tuba; Hilary Jeffery, trombone; Elena Kakaliagou, French horn; Claudio Puntin, clarinets; James Wylie, alto saxophone; Paul Schwingenschlogl, trumpet, flugelhorn; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet and voice.


Interstices, for Octet plus One
Premiere: September 15, 2017 at the Royaumont Abbey and Foundation, France
Ictus: Sylvain Devaux – oboe; Dirk Descheemaeker – clarinet; Tom De Cock – percussion; Jean-Luc Plouvier – piano; Igor Semenoff – violin; Jeroen Robbrecht – viola; Geert De Bièvre – cello; Géry Cambier – contrabass; Amir ElSaffar – trumpet
Commissioned by the Royaumont Foundation with support from the Camargo Foundation.


Trio, for Jazz Trio
Premiere: January 9, 2017 at the Fridman Gallery New Ear Festival
Ole Mathisen, tenor saxophone; Tomas Fujiwara, drums; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet


Written in Water, for Ragamala Dance
Premiere: October 5 & 6, 2016 at First Performances, Florida State University, Tallahassee Rajna Swaminathan, mrudangam; Anjna Swaminathan, Carnatic violin; Preethy Mahesh, voice; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet, voice, santur


Not Two, for the Rivers of Sound Orchestra
Premiere: April 16, 2015, David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
Nasheet Waits, drums; Carlo De Rosa, bass; Zafer Tawil, oud and percussion; Tareq Abboushi, buzuq; George Ziadeh, oud; Mohamed Saleh, oboe; Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone; Craig Taborn, piano; JD Parran, bass saxophone and clarinet; Ole Mathisen, tenor saxophone; Dena El Saffar, violin and jowza; Tim Moore, percussion; Rajna Swaminathan, mrudangam; Fabrizio Cassol, alto saxophone; Miles Okazaki, guitar; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet, voice, santur
A MAP Fund and Arab Fund for Arts and Culture Commission


Ashwaaq, for string quartet, voice, and santur
Premiere: July 7, 2014, Festival d’Aix and July 10, 2014, Festival d’Avignon in France
Quatuor Tana; Khaled AlHafez, vocal; Amir ElSaffar, santur


Hijaz Variations, a Lament on the Loss of Country, for string orchestra, flute, oboe, and clarinet
Premiere: October 1, 2013 at the Morgenland Festival, Osnabrück, Germany
Morgenland Festival Orchestra


Crisis, for the Two Rivers Ensemble
Premiere: August 3, 2013 at the Newport Jazz Festival
Same personnel as Two Rivers, but Ole Mathisen, tenor saxophone, replaces Rudresh Mahanthappa


Zaman, for the Alwan Arab Music Ensemble
Premiere: March 13, 2013 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, New York
George Ziadeh, oud; Zafer Tawil, percussion; Lety ElNaggar, nay; Johnny Farraj, percussion; Tareq Abboushi, buzuq; Apostolos Sideris, bass; Rami ElAsser, percussion; Amir ElSaffar, santur


Alchemy, for jazz quintet
Premiere: March 16, 2011 at The Jazz Gallery
Craig Taborn, piano; Hafez Modirzadeh, alto saxophone; David Ambrosio, bass; Dan Weiss, drums; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet


Inana, for the Two Rivers Ensemble
Premiere: September 30, 2010 at Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI
Same Personnel as Two Rivers


Within/Between, for jazz quartet and voice
Premiere: February 10 and 11, 2010 at the Jazz Gallery, New York City
Judith Berkson, voice; Liberty Ellman, guitar; Francois Moutin, bass; Tomas Fujiwara, drums; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet and voice
Commissioned by The Jerome Foundation and The Jazz Gallery

Copper Suite, for the ElSaffar/Modirzadeh Quartet
Premiere: June 10, 2009, Alwan for the Arts, New York City
Hafez Modirzadeh, tenor saxophone; Mark Dresser, contrabass; Alex Cline, drum set; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet


Two Rivers Large Ensemble
Arrangements of Two Rivers Suite for 15 musicians
Premiere date: August 6, 2008, Millennium Park, Chicago, Made in Chicago Festival
Same personnel as Two Rivers plus Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone; Geof Bradfield, tenor saxophone; Jeb Bishop, trombone; Mohamed Saleh, oboe; Wanees Zarour, buzuq; Jeff Parker, guitar; Naef Rafeh, Nay; Dena El Saffar, violin; Tim Moore, percussion; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet, voice, santur
Commissioned by Jazz Institute of Chicago and Made in Chicago


Mokurai (Silent Thunder), for Amir ElSaffar solo
Premiere: January 9, 2017 at the Fridman Gallery New Ear Festival, February 28, 2017 at Issue Project Room
Amir ElSaffar, trumpet, santur, voice


Two Rivers Suite, for the Two Rivers Ensemble
Premiere: March 26, 2006, Painted Bride Arts Center, and October 4, 2006, Festival of New Trumpet Music.
Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone; Nasheet Waits, drums; Carlo De Rosa, bass; Zafer Tawil, oud, violin, and percussion; Tareq Abboushi, buzuq; Amir ElSaffar, trumpet, voice, santur