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New York 2016 ISPA Congress- Amir ElSaffar
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New York 2016 ISPA Congress

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Amir ElSaffar, Speaker (SESSION I | Today's Curators: Exploring New Territory; Tuesday, January 12, 2016) at the New York 2016 ISPA Congress, Performance!. View the full Schedule of Events

Amir ElSaffarAmir ElSaffar | Speaker

Alwan for the Arts


Amir ElSaffar, trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer, has distinguished himself with mastery across a spectrum of musical traditions and is an internationally recognized innovator of cross-cultural music making. A recipient of the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, ElSaffar leads several ensembles, including Two Rivers, which combines languages and instrumentation of jazz and Middle Eastern music, and the 17-piece Rivers of Sound Ensemble. ElSaffar is a classically trained trumpeter conversant in contemporary jazz, and has created techniques to play microtones and ornaments of Arabic music on the trumpet. Additionally, he is a purveyor of the centuries-old Iraqi maqam tradition, performing actively as a vocalist and santur player. ElSaffar has composed for various ensembles, including orchestra, string quartet, and brass quintet, utilizing the microtonal properties of maqam. Since 2008, ElSaffar has served as Music Director at Alwan for the Arts, New York City's hub for Middle Eastern culture.

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