The opening reception will be followed by a solo trumpet performance by Iraqi-American musician AMIR ELSAFFAR, a member of Christer Hennix’s performance ensemble CHORA(SAN) TIME COURT MIRAGE, whose practice synthesizes aspects of traditional Middle Eastern music with American Jazz.
Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer Amir ElSaffar has distinguished himself with a mastery of disparate musical styles and a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. A skilled jazz trumpeter with a classical background, ElSaffar has created new techniques to play microtones and ornaments that are idiomatic to Arabic music but are not typically heard on the trumpet. Additionally, he is an acknowledged performer of the classical Iraqi maqam tradition, and performs actively in the US, Europe and the Middle East as a vocalist and santur player. He currently leads four critically-acclaimed ensembles: Two Rivers, the Amir ElSaffar Quintet, The Alwan Ensemble, and Safaafir, the only ensemble in the US performing the Iraqi Maqam in its traditional format. In addition, he has worked with Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway, Marc Ribot, Henry Grimes, and Oliver Lake. ElSaffar has appeared on numerous recordings, and has released six under his own name.