Check out the video from Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers at Newport Jazz Festival, August 2013:
“Cyclical melodic cells and rhythmic complications took on another cast when deployed by Amir ElSaffar’s Two Rivers Ensemble. A trumpeter, vocalist and santoor (hammered dulcimer) player, ElSaffar used microtonality and melodic decorations derived from 14th century Iraqi maqam practices in songs that bristled with free-jazz frontline urgency. His pliant tone on horn was matched by the tough tenor of saxophonist Ole Mathisen, Tareq Abboushi on buzuq (a long-necked lute), Zafer Tawil on oud and dumbek, bassist Carlo De Rosa and drummer Nasheet Waits. This was certainly the first Middle Eastern-imbued jazz combo at Newport to win a standing ovation for its first song.”
-Downbeat Magazine on the Two Rivers Ensemble at Newport Jazz Festival August 2013 (full article)
- Listen to the Two Rivers Ensemble performance at Newport Jazz Festival 2013 on NPR Music’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater.