JAZZIZ Travel #21: Amir ElSaffar (PODCAST)

JAZZIZ Travel is a new podcast series hosted by JAZZIZ online editor Matt Micucci that explores jazz and creative music in all four corners of the globe. In this series, you will hear conversations with artists and people talking about the significance of jazz as an art form, the influence of folk music traditions of different cultures and backgrounds, or simply sharing their thoughts, ideas and insight on their multicultural projects.

Trumpeter/vocalist/composer Amir ElSaffar is a Chicago native of Iraqi-American heritage. A visionary musician with a prominent background in classical music and jazz, ElSaffar is also a purveyor of old, endangered Arabic music. He is particularly fond of the Iraqi maqam, which he performs actively as a vocalist and santur player, and has integrated in his eclectic and idiosyncratic artistic vision.

His new album, The Other Shore, was released earlier this year via Outhere, and marks a further evolution for his Rivers of Sound ensemble, which has grown to become a 17-piece all-star lineup featuring instruments of various cultures and backgrounds. Yet, As ElSaffar explains via an official statement: “I’m less interested in the surface intermingling of cultures and more fascinated by the sonic possibilities in this unique combination of instruments from around the world.”

Listen to our JAZZIZ Travel podcast conversation with Amir ElSaffar via the player below. His new album with his Rivers of Sound orchestra, The Other Shore, is out now on Outhere and you can order it HERE.

Featured photo by Maria Baranova.

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