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.

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

toggle caption
Adam Kissick for NPR

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

Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Jazz Festival

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

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

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/208279594/208879998" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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)
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Ellyn Rucker at Ivory's Piano Bar in Denver on Apr. 22, 1984. Duane Howell/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Duane Howell/Denver Post via Getty Images

Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

On this 1993 episode, the versatile vocalist and pianist joins host Marian McPartland to play the title song from her album This Heart Of Mine.

Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564710563/564713341" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Grover Washington Jr. performs on stage during the "One Night With Blue Note" concert in New York on Feb. 22, 1985. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In this radio episode, Jazz Night in America takes you to a tribute concert honoring the late musician, whose soulful sound was more than just "smooth."

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564442111/564555947" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Gurtman and Murtha Artist Management

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

Hear "America's First Lady of the Piano" explore the boundaries between classical music and jazz with host Marian McPartland in this 2004 episode.

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562620476/562624249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jimmy Greene. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Jimmy Greene Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The saxophonist's 2014 album was dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter, killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. Hear his quartet perform the genre-spanning music in concert.

Jimmy Greene's 'Beautiful Life'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/418925379/418929187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Teri Thornton, photographed on Jan. 1, 1990. Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

Revisit this 1999 episode of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, featuring the late vocalist and pianist a year before she lost her battle with cancer.

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561711244/561802316" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frank Stewart

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jazz Night in America takes you to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, where the hard-bop drummer celebrated his debut as a band leader and talked about fond memories and favorite sessions.

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561069637/561555776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Nate Smith Band performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 14, 2017. (Christina Ascani/NPR) Christina Ascani/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Christina Ascani/NPR

Review

Tiny Desk

Nate Smith + KINFOLK

The drums take center stage at this Tiny Desk. Watch veteran jazz percussionist Nate Smith dazzle the NPR audience in a transfixing performance.

Japanese jazz pianist Makoto Ozone at an album photo shoot on February 1, 1986 in New York City. Waring Abbott/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Waring Abbott/Getty Images

Makoto Ozone On Piano Jazz

Revisit the pianist's first appearance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, back when he was still a rising star in 1984.

Makoto Ozone On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/560367691/560368003" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top