Jazz at the Maverick Series Continues with Amir ElSaffar, and Two Rivers Ensemble

Maverick Concerts, the oldest continuous summer chamber music festival in America, celebrates the start of its second century of Music in the Woods this year. Amir ElSaffar and the Two Rivers Ensemble make their Maverick debut in the Jazz at the Maverick series, and offer the first of this summer's "New Century, New Voices" concerts:

Date and Time: Saturday, July 16 at 8 pm
Location: 120 Maverick Road, Woodstock, NY 12498
Tickets: 8 pm concert - or call 800.595.4849
Artists: Amir ElSaffar and the Two Rivers Ensemble
Musical Program: Jazz at the Maverick presents the Maverick Debut of
Crisis Suite
Contact for Artist Interviews: Amir ElSaffar ( or 718.354.9816
Photos and more info: ( and (

Expert trumpeter, santur player, vocalist and composer Amir ElSaffar makes his Maverick debut with his critically acclaimed sextet, Two Rivers Ensemble, which combines the musical languages and instrumentation of Iraqi maqam the traditional Arabic music system and contemporary jazz. In 2013, the Newport Jazz Festival commissioned ElSaffar's composition, "Crisis Suite, " and his emotional premiere at that year's festival inspired a standing ovation after just the first piece. ElSaffar composed the suite following a year spent living in Egypt, where he witnessed the Arab Spring protests, and in Lebanon, where he worked with Syrian musicians who were living through their country's civil war. For his Maverick debut, ElSaffar will present his stirring musical commentary on recent Iraq and Middle East history in its entirety.
ElSaffar has been called "one of the most promising figures in jazz today" (Chicago Tribune) and described as "uniquely poised to reconcile jazz and Arabic music without doing either harm" by The Wire. ElSaffar was born in the U.S. and learned jazz here, but studied maqam in Baghdad and Europe. He has received numerous commissions from Jazz Institute of Chicago, Chamber Music America, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and others and is known for integrating Middle Eastern tonalities and rhythms into contemporary contexts. In addition to performing and recording with his own groups, ElSaffar has worked with many prominent jazz musicians, including Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Henry Grimes and Oliver Lake.

Maverick's "New Century, New Voices" is a seven-concert mini-festival featuring composers who may be new to Maverick audiences, or making their Maverick debut. The series is funded with major support from the National Endowment for the Arts and continues through September 11. This performance is also one of five performances in the Jazz at the Maverick series, which continues through August 13 with concerts by Vijay Iver, Fred Hersch and Jane Ira Bloom, and Julian Lage with his trio.

Upcoming concerts for the week of July 23-24 feature performances by Kim and Reggie Harris, Vijay Iyer and Latitude 41. Details are below.

Saturday, July 23, 11 am
Young People's Concert
Kim and Reggie Harris
Admission is free for all young people under 16. Adults pay $5 each.

Saturday, July 23, 8 pm
Jazz at the Maverick
"New Century, New Voices III"
Vijay Iyer, solo piano

Sunday, July 24, 4 pm
Latitude 41
Haydn: Piano Trio No. 25 in G, Hob. XV:25 ("Gypsy")
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66

A complete schedule for the 2016 season and additional information is available at

About Maverick Concerts
Built by hand in 1916 and situated amid the dappled shade of the Catskill woodland, the Maverick Concert Hall and grounds are listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. Internationally acclaimed musicians return year after year to perform in Maverick's "music chapel, " a concert hall that is renowned for its sublime acoustics. The barn-like wooden structure has been restored and updated, and in May 2016, Maverick Concerts received an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation from the Preservation League of New York State. It is a magical space that embraces the audience and immerses listeners in the most beautiful music in the world. The afternoon light filters through panels of diamond-shaped windows as birdsong and the occasional cloudburst create a benign and blissful counterpoint to the glorious music making.

Maverick Concerts, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Concerts are made possible in part with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Maverick Concerts Endowment Fund; Friends of Maverick; the towns of Woodstock and Hurley; local businesses; individual donors; and other public and private foundations. Yamaha is the official piano of Maverick Concerts. The Disklavier C7X grand piano appears through the generosity of Yamaha Artist Services.

write your comments about the article :: 2016 Jazz News :: home page