Two Rivers at Newport Jazz Festival

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)

Amir ElSaffar Receives 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award

I’m thrilled to announce that I am one of 20 recipients of the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards! This is the second year of the program, and I am extremely honored by the recognition and humbled to be in the company of such great artists in the fields of jazz, theater, contemporary dance, and interdisciplinary art. I am grateful to God and to the Universe, and I thank the people at Doris Duke, as well as my family, friends, teachers, and colleagues (some of whom are on this list) for the support throughout the years!