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Amir ElSaffar

November 14 - November 28, 2014

American trumpeter and composer Amir ElSaffar has created jazz with a cross-cultural impact in only one decade—combining it with aspects of Middle Eastern music and manipulating tones, melody, and harmony with distinctive imagination. He has customized techniques and created a microtonal harmonic system new to jazz, idiomatic to Arabic music, and rarely heard on the trumpet. He is a noted interpreter of the classical Iraqi Maqam tradition, which he performs on the santur and as a vocalist. He has released four highly acclaimed recordings: Maqams of Baghdad (Salaam, 2006), Two Rivers (Pi, 2007), Radif Suite (Pi, 2010), and Inana (Pi, 2011). His many honors include grants from French-American Jazz Exchange (2013), Chamber Music America New Jazz Works (2009), a 2013 commission from the Newport Jazz Festival and 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. He currently curates a weekly concert series at Alwan for the Arts, a New York destination for Middle Eastern arts and culture. With Alwan, he recently curated Eloquence: a Festival of Iraqi Culture, the first festival and tour of its kind to represent Iraqi culture in the United States.

See ElSaffar's November 20, 2014 musical performance with fellow Shangri La Artist in Residence Ikhlaq Hussain Khan in the Playhouse at Shangri La.

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