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: tenor sax
On October 18th, Firehouse 12 is pleased to present trumpeter Amir ElSaffar and his quintet as they celebrate the release of their latest album Alchemy (Pi Recordings). Alchemy continues his investigations of the use of tonal systems of other cultures within a jazz context. ElSaffar builds on the work of his previous albums to create forward-looking works that open possibilities for the future of his music.
ElSaffar's last album Inana, was called "hypnotic and utterly unique" (Areif Sless-Kitain, TimeOut Chicago), "with this recording [ElSaffar has] established himself as a compositional force to be reckoned with" (Thomas Stanley, Point of Departure). "ElSaffar's music [is] the result of engagement across the board, presented with clarity and eloquence" (The Wire).
ElSaffar was born near Chicago in 1977. He began playing trumpet at age 10 and soon after began to perform professionally throughout Chicago with blues, jazz, rock, Salsa bands, as well as with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In 2000, after completing a degree from DePaul University he moved to New York City and worked with pianist Cecil Taylor, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and Vijay Iyer. He has travelled throughout the Middle East and Europe studying Iraqi Maqam and has an ensemble dedicated to performing the music in it's traditional format. He is a recent recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artists award.
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