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Crisis

by Amir ElSaffar

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about

Crisis chronicles the continuing development of trumpeter Amir ElSaffar's critically acclaimed Two Rivers Ensemble, a band purpose-built to explore the juncture between jazz and music of the Middle East, in particular the Iraqi maqam. The new work is his reflection on a region in turmoil and strife: revolution, civil war, sectarian violence; a culture's struggle for survival. It sets aside some of the more exploratory work that he has done in recent years to focus on music that is passionate and visceral, a cry from the heart. Crisis was commissioned by the Newport Jazz Festival, where at its 2013 premiere, it made a clear emotional connection to the audience, receiving a rousing standing ovation after just the first piece. Driving and to the point, ElSaffar’s music is beyond categorization – not jazz, world music or any facile fusion thereof – but a world unto its own.

credits

released July 24, 2015

Amir ElSaffar – trumpet, vocal, santour
Ole Mathisen – tenor and soprano saxophone
Nasheet Waits – drums
Carlo DeRosa – bass
Tareq Abboushi – buzuq
Zafer Tawil – oud, percussion

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about

Amir ElSaffar New York, New York

Iraqi-American trumpeter, santurist, vocalist, and composer, ElSaffar uses Middle Eastern and American jazz to create new techniques to ornament that are idiomatic to Arabic music. He performs classical Iraqi maqam music, and is active in the US, Europe and the Middle East as a vocalist and santur player. His compositions use microtones from maqam music to uniquely approach harmony and melody. ... more

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