Iraqi Maqam Music with Hamid Al-Saadi and Amir ElSaffar
Iraqi maqam music developed over centuries in the cities of Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk, and Basra and was passed down orally in coffeehouses, courts, and salons.
The maqams' melodies, rhythms, and poetry are a direct reflection of Iraq's history, geography, culture, and folklore - the essence of all that is Iraqi.
Hamid Al-Saadi is the only person in his generation to have memorized and mastered all 56 maqamat from the Baghdad repertoire, and is one of the few vocalists keeping the maqam alive today.
Amir ElSaffar is a composer, trumpeter, santur player, and vocalist conversant not only in the language of contemporary jazz, but has created techniques to play microtones and ornaments idiomatic to Arabic music that are not typically heard on the trumpet.
Sponsored by the Rutgers-Newark Middle East South Asia Working Group, Center for Security, Race, and Rights, and the Rutgers-Newark Middle East Music Orchestra