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Amir ElSaffar

Amir ElSaffar and Rivers of Sound

Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm

The Wire says Amir ElSaffar is "uniquely poised to reconcile jazz and Arabic music without doing either harm." A trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer, ElSaffar is steeped in classical and jazz traditions while also bringing the microtones and ornaments idiomatic to Arabic music into play. He is also a practitioner of the endangered Iraqi maqam music, which influences both his playing and his composing. All of this adds up to the Chicago Tribune calling ElSaffar "one of the most promising figures in jazz today."

His band, Rivers of Sound, features 17 muiscians who blend eastern and western music by using resonance as their organizing principle. As pitches and rhythms become fluid, so do cultural boundaries. The result is a fresh transcultural soundscape.

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The Auditorium,  Hancher, 141 Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242


For this Hancher event, each University of Iowa or other college student must present their student ID to attend the performance with a student ticket.


There is a large surface lot adjacent to Hancher that is open for public parking after 4:30 pm on weekdays, and all day Saturdays and Sundays.  Note, however, that there are some metered spots in this lot that require payment at certain times, so please read any signage.


The main entrance is accessible to persons with disabilities, and is located on the south side of the building. Accessible parking spaces, hearing augmentation units, large-print playbills, and assistive technologies for the visually impaired are available at most events in the Hancher season. Please contact Hancher Accessibility Services at 319-335-1158 to arrange for individual needs at a specific event.

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