July 25 and 26, 2023 : Amir ElSaffar presents the world premiere of a new work entitled Dhikra (Remembrance) for his Two Rivers Ensemble and the renowned Iraqi Maqam singer, Hamid Al-Saadi. They will be joined by Maestro Louis Langrée conducting members of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. The second half of the program features Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor.
Amir ElSaffar Calendar.

Honoring Iraq 20 Years After the US Invasion

April, 2023 : Amir ElSaffar presents a series of East Coast concerts in April to mark the 20 year anniversary of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Two concerts will be with his Two Rivers Ensemble, combining Iraqi Maqam with American Jazz, and two will be with his traditional Maqam ensemble, Safaafir. All of the performances will feature the renowned Iraqi Maqam singer from Baghdad, Hamid Al-Saadi. More details here:
Amir ElSaffar Calendar.

Rivers of Sound travels to Europe!

November 10-13, 2022 : Rivers of Sound Orchestra has two upcoming European concerts – one at De Bijloke in Ghent, and another at the Aperto Festival in Reggio Emilia. This tour will feature music from the band’s latest release, The Other Shore, as well as Emergence, that will be performed acoustically with musicians spaced throughout the auditorium! More details here:
Amir ElSaffar Calendar.

Rivers of Sound On Tour

April 18-28, 2022 : Rivers of Sound Orchestra will be on tour of the US, for the first time since the pandemic! Performances will be in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Champaign, IL, Dartmouth College, Troy, NY, and New York City! This tour will feature a brand new work, Emergence, that will be performed acoustically with musicians spaced throughout the auditorium! More details here:
Amir ElSaffar Calendar.

September 10, 2021: Rivers of Sound Orchestra’s second album, The Other Shore, is out today! Recorded in December, 2019, this album chronicles the evolution of the 17-piece Rivers of Sound orchestra after five years of touring.

Buy Rivers of Sound: The Other Shore on CD

Stream Rivers of Sound: The Other Shore.

April 14, 2021: Amir ElSaffar has just completed a ten-day residency and recording session with the 15 musician Raga-Maqam project at Mass MoCA! Album is scheduled for release in early 2022.

February 21, 2021: This year’s Bang on a Can Marathon features 16 new compositions from 16 different composers, including a work by Amir ElSaffar written for Ken Thomson, bass clarinet, entitled Thaw. Check out the whole program here: https://live.bangonacan.org/february2021marathon/

February 3, 2021: Amir ElSaffar’s Luminescencia project, combining Flamenco, Maqam, and electronics was scheduled to perform today at the Quai-Branley Museum in Paris. Sadly, the concert was canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, but the group held an online discussion with French radio producer Françoise Degeorges, including excerpts from the work. View it here: https://youtu.be/Ru-fQPKTg0s

January 31, 2021: Amir ElSaffar’s video Lecture, “Beyond the Other Shore,” produced for Knox College’s Jerome Mirza Virtual Jazz Residency came out today! Amir discusses his musical projects encompassing an array of musical languages from Jazz, Classical and Maqam, to Flamenco, Raga, and Sub-Saharan Trance Music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O_k_J35QJs

December 5, 2020: Last month, Safaafir convened with Iraqi Maqam master Hamid Al-Saadi for the first time since the beginning of the Pandemic for a performance at the Stissing Center in Pine Plains, New York. The video streamed today as part of Clarion Concert Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k04MfyNo5CM

November 20, 2020: Check out Amir ElSaffar’s debut work for trumpet, santur, and modular synthesizer as part of this year’s virtual Jazz Fest Sarajevo:

September 1, 2020: Amir ElSaffar receives a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University to begin work on his first opera, Ruins of the Encampment. Read more about it here: http://www.princetonmagazine.com/princeton-university-hodder-fellows/

April 1, 2020: Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Rivers of Sound’s two-week tour of the United States has been postponed/canceled. More updates on re-scheduled dates will be forthcoming.