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Canceled: Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound Orchestra

On March 11, 2020, the University of Illinois communicated new guidelines for university operations, enacted to safeguard health during current COVID-19 conditions.

In accordance with these guidelines, all public performances at Krannert Center the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester are canceled as of Monday, March 16, 2020. If any performances become available by way of streaming or other technology, we will share that information as soon as possible. While this action is necessary and wise, we are of course deeply saddened not to be able to help create experiences of joy and community in person at this time.

If you hold tickets for events this spring and would like to help Krannert Center, Illinois Theatre, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, Dance at Illinois, School of Music, Sinfonia da Camera, and Champaign-Urbana Symphony weather the significant financial challenges that this situation creates, please consider declining your refund, thereby donating the cost of the tickets. If you would like to take this action, please contact the Ticket Office at 217.333.6280 (800/KCPATIX) or kran-tix [at] illinois.edu by Wednesday, March 25. Ticket Office staff will be happy to register this donation. Thank you in advance for considering this option.

After March 25, all tickets that have not been donated will be fully refunded. Ticket purchasers do not have to take any action to receive their refunds. Patrons who purchased tickets with a credit card will receive a refund on the card used. Patrons who paid with Krannert CenterChecks or a gift card will receive a gift card refund by mail. Patrons who paid with cash or check will receive a university refund check by mail. Because of the volume of refunds being processed, credit card and gift card refunds might take up to four weeks to arrive. University refund checks might take up to 10 weeks to arrive. Patrons are welcome to contact the Ticket Office at 217.333.6280 (800/KCPATIX) or kran-tix [at] illinois.edu with questions.

Read the complete Krannert Center COVID-19 update.


Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur (hammered dulcimer) player, vocalist, and composer Amir ElSaffar has mastered disparate musical styles and created a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. A recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and a 2018 United States Artists Fellow, he is also a purveyor of the centuries old, now endangered, Iraqi maqam tradition, which he performs actively. ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound Orchestra brings together 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions, creating an entirely new musical vocabulary that transcends established notions of style. As the orchestra’s treatment of pitches and rhythms become fluid, so do cultural boundaries; elements that traditionally divide musicians into separate genres are recontextualized in a fresh transcultural soundscape. This musical alchemy led the Chicago Tribune to call ElSaffar “one of the most promising figures in jazz today.”

Patron Co-sponsors

  • Paula Kaufman
  • Josephine & Douglas Kibbee
  • Anonymous

Corporate and Community Bronze Sponsor

  • Liz Jones Real Estate

With deep gratitude, Krannert Center thanks all Patron Sponsors and Corporate and Community Sponsors.

If you believe in the life-affirming experiences that Krannert Center and the performing arts at Illinois make possible, please make a gift: advancement@krannertcenter.illinois.edu, KrannertCenter.com/Give, or faa.illinois.edu/giving.

Event Details

Colwell Playhouse
Sa Apr 18, 2020 - 7:30pm
Pick Five+: 33 / SC 28 / STU 15 / UI & YTH 10 Single: 35 / SC 30 / STU 15 / UI & YTH 10