Amir ElSaffar
16 Beaver Street, 4th Fl , New York NY, 10004
Instruments: Dulcimer, Ear Training, Ethnomusicology, Theory, Trumpet, World Music
Styles: Jazz, World, Other
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Experience: 5 years
Rate: $70 / hr
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Personal Statement
Amir teaches private lessons on trumpet, santur (hammered dulcimer), voice, and Iraqi Maqam, a centuries-old urban vocal form from Iraq. He also teaches the class Iraqi Maqam: repertoire and variation at Alwan for the Arts Sunday afternoons from 1:30-2:50pm from March 4th through May 20.

Amir ElSaffar (trumpet, santur, vocal instruction, Iraqi Maqam) is an Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer who has distinguished himself with a mastery of disparate musical styles and a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. A skilled jazz trumpeter with a classical background, ElSaffar has created new techniques to play microtones and ornaments that are idiomatic to Arabic music but are not typically heard on the trumpet. Additionally, he is an acknowledged performer of the classical Iraqi maqam tradition, and performs actively in the US, Europe and the Middle East as a vocalist and santur player. As a composer, ElSaffar has used the microtones found in maqam music to create a unique approach to harmony and melody, establishing himself as an important voice in an age of cross-cultural music making. ElSaffar has received grants to compose music from Chamber Music America, the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the Jerome Foundation, Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), and the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia.


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