COLUMN 105, MAY 1, 2004
(Copyright © 2004 The Blacklisted Journalist)
THE BOWERY POETRY CLUB
MAY 27 MULTICULTURAL MUSIC JAM SESSION AND BOOKSIGNING PARTY
The Boston Globe has
described David Amram as "the Renaissance man of American music". He
has composed over 100 orchestral and chamber works, written two operas, and
early in his career, wrote many scores for theatre and films, including Splendor
in the Grass and The Manchurian Candidate. He plays French horn,
piano, guitar, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and a variety of
folkloric instruments from 25 countries.
He has conducted and
performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras around the world, participated
in major music festivals, and traveled from Brazil to Cuba and from Kenya to
Egypt. While actively assimilating the musical cultures of the countries he has
visited, he has kept up a remarkable pace of composing, incorporating his
experiences in the worlds of jazz, folk and ethnic music as inspiration and
basic material for his formal compositions.
He has collaborated with
such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Charles
Mingus, Dustin Hoffman, Thelonious Monk, Willie Nelson, Jack Kerouac, Betty
Carter, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, and Tito Puente.
Since being appointed first
composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic in 1966-67, he has become
one of the most acclaimed composers of his generation, listed by BMI as one of
the Twenty Most Performed Composers of Concert Music in the United States since
For twenty-nine seasons,
Amram was the music director of Young People's, Family, and Free Summer concert
programs for the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As
conductor, narrator, and soloist on instruments from all over the world, he
combines jazz, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Native American, and folk musics
of the world, in conjunction with the European classics. In the spring of 1995,
the Brooklyn Academy of Music honored his quarter of a century as a pioneer of
multicultural symphonic programming.
He appears as guest
conductor and soloist with major orchestras around the world, as well as touring
internationally with his quartet, while continuing to produce a remarkable
output of new compositions.
September 14, 2002, David
Amram's new flute concerto, Giants of the Night
was premiered by James Galway, to critical acclaim. Other recent
commissions include A Little Rebellion: Thomas Jefferson, premiered at
the Kennedy Center with E.G. Marshall narrating and Amram conducting members of
the National Symphony Orchestra.
Kokopelli: A Symphony on
Three Movements, received its world
premiere with Amram conducting the
Nashville Symphony Orchestra and has been recorded.
Amram and author Frank
McCourt are currently collaborating on a new work, Missa Manhattan, for
narrator, chorus and orchestra, celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures that
have immigrated to New York City over the past three hundred years, including
the Native Americans who were there to greet them.
Amram wrote the score for
the documentary feature Boys of Winter by Mark Reese concerning the life
of his father Peewee Reese and his teammate, Carl Erskine of the Brooklyn
Dodgers. The film premiered in New York City in the Spring of 2001 and won
"Best Documentary Film" award at the New York Independent Film
Festival in Sept. of 2001.
An author in his own right,
David Amram's new book, Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac
(Thunder's Mouth Press) was released in early 2002 to critical acclaim.
It describes their work together from 1956 until Kerouac's death in 1969.
Amram also details the work he is doing today with a new generation of
musicians, composers, authors, poets and filmmakers.
The paperback version of Offbeat was released January of 2003.
His autobiography, Vibrations, has also been reissued in paperback
by Thunder's Mouth Press. This new edition includes a forward by historian
David Amram has appeared on
national TV seven times with Willie Nelson for Farm Aid, many times with the
late Dizzy Gillespie, as well as numerous interviews, including David
Letterman, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Charles Karalt, and CBS
Sunday Morning. His video, ORIGINS OF SYMPHONIC INSTRUMENTS, released by
Educational Video, is in over 6,000 schools throughout the US and Canada. The
award-winning documentary, Amram Jam was nationally televised and
released as a home video in 2003. By the end of 2004, there will be fourteen
CD's of David Amram's music commercially available, ranging from his holocaust
opera, The Final Ingredient, his symphonic works Three Conncertos,
to his classic film score, The Manchurian Candidate. His live jazz
recording, Kerouac and Amram; Pull My Daisy, celebrates Kerouac and
Amram's collaboration in the first ever jazz poetry reading in New York City in
1957, and the subsequent 1959 film that combined
Amram's chamber music and jazz with Jack Kerouac's narration.
Long acknowledged as a
pioneer of World Music, virtuoso, performer, brilliant conductor and composer of
uncompromising originality since the 1950s, David Amram's compositions and his
unique approach to music are now finding a. worldwide audience.
Amram is writing a new
book, recounting his continuous adventures around the world. The book celebrates
his dual abilities to constantly discipline himself when creating highly
structured compositions, while still being able to improvise whenever necessary
in music and in daily life, showing the reader how all people can overcome most
obstacles and setbacks by utilizing hard work, daring and always remaining
For more bios, click here to get to Page Four.
ON THIS 40TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR OF BEATLEMANIA!
IN THIS 615-PAGE PAPERBACK, AL ARONOWITZ, ACCLAIMED AS THE "GODFATHER OF ROCK JOURNALISM", TELLS YOU MORE ABOUT BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES THAN ANY OTHER WRITER CAN TELL YOU BECAUSE NO OTHER WRITER WAS THERE AT THE TIME. AS THE MAN WHO INTRODUCED ALLEN GINSBERG TO BOB DYLAN, BOB DYLAN TO THE BEATLES AND THE BEATLES TO MARIJUANA, ARONOWITZ BOASTS, "THE '60S WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THE SAME WITHOUT ME."
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