A trumpeter, santur player, vocalist and composer, Amir ElSaffar is steeped in classical and jazz traditions while also bringing the microtones and ornaments of Arabic music into play. He also is a practitioner of the endangered Iraqi maqam music, which influences both his playing and composing. His band, Rivers of Sound, features 17 musicians who blend Eastern and Western music, using fluid rhythm and pitches to create a transcultural soundscape. Tonight’s concert is part of Hancher’s Embracing Complexity initiative, designed to build understanding of contemporary Islamic cultures and Muslim identity.
Amir ElSaffar and Rivers of Sound
7:30 p.m. today (2/8), Hancher Auditorium, 141 E. Park Rd., Iowa City; $10 to $35, Hancher Box Office, (319) 335-1160, 1-(800) HANCHER or Hancher.uiowa.edu/tickets