Acclaimed composer, trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound brings together 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions, ranging from Iraqi maqam to American jazz. The music incorporates elements of maqam modal music of the Middle East with jazz and other contemporary practices to create a unique microtonal environment that moves beyond the notions of style and tradition into a realm of uninhibited musical communication.

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Rivers of Sound
Rivers of Sound
Rivers of Sound

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Study Guide: Rivers of Sound

Start here to learn more about Amir ElSaffar and Rivers of Sound.

Ben Ratliff on Rivers of Sound

The maqam, which means “situation” or “place,” is both a repertoire of musical material and a set of rules.