Amir ElSaffar And Two Rivers, Live In Concert The trumpeter was a jazz and classical rising star when he began studying the modal music of his Iraqi heritage. His Two Rivers band uses microtonal techniques to investigate the blues.
NPR logo Amir ElSaffar And Two Rivers, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

Amir ElSaffar And Two Rivers, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

Amir ElSaffar And Two Rivers, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

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Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

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Adam Kissick for NPR

Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival

Adam Kissick for NPR

Amir ElSaffar grew up around Chicago as something of a trumpet prodigy, in both jazz and classical. He was winning competitions and beginning to make a go of it in New York. Then he started investigating his Iraqi heritage in music, and studying the hammered dulcimer and the modes of various Middle Eastern musics. This band splits the difference, using microtonal techniques to investigate the blues. They'll have new tunes too, commissioned for Newport and supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Personnel

  • Amir ElSaffar, trumpet and santur
  • Ole Mathisen, tenor sax
  • Zafer Tawil, oud/violin/dumbek
  • Tareq Abboushi, buzuq/percussion
  • Carlo DeRosa, bass
  • Nasheet Waits, drums

Set List

  • "The Great Dictator" (ElSaffar)
  • "Shaab" (ElSaffar)
  • "(Untitled)" (ElSaffar)
  • "Flyover Iraq" (ElSaffar)
  • "Whirlwind" (ElSaffar)