Rivers of Sound Orchestra
Performance Cancellations | A Message to our community
All public activity at The Soraya will be suspended from March 12th through April 17th. This includes all presented events, rental events, and arts education activities.
Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer Amir ElSaffar returns to The Soraya — this time with his 17-piece jazz orchestra, the Rivers of Sound. The group’s Middle Eastern-inspired music blends with American jazz for a unique, infectious sound. Elements that traditionally divide musicians are reimagined in a fresh, transcultural soundscape.
Public radio station WBGO recently called the orchestra’s music an “exhilarating wash of sound, layers upon layers, meant to induce a phenomenon commonly known in Iraqi maqam as tarab, a sense of having an out-of-body experience.” It highlights the sounds of oud, buzuq, and santur, and a Persian stringed hammered dulcimer, played by ElSaffar himself. He also weaves in Western classical instruments such as violin, cello, and oboe.