David Amram is a Jazz and Folk Pioneer, who sings and scats, plays 35 instruments, and is an acclaimed classical composer whose compositions incorporate his lifetime participation in the worlds of Jazz, Global Folk, Latin, Classical, Middle Eastern, and Native American music. Over a seven-decade career in the Jazz world, he collaborated with Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Oscar Pettiford, Mary Lou Williams, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Paquito d’Rivera, Tito Puente, Earl `Fatha’ Hines, Betty Carter, Ray Barretto and Wynton Marsalis. His recent Lifetime Achievement Awards were from New York’s Highlights in Jazz, and from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame’s Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award.
Since the 1950s, David has also collaborated with many folk luminaries, such as Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Oscar Brand, Theodore Bikel, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Judy Collins, Patti Smith, Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Josh White, Jr., Steve Earle , Eric Andersen, Jerry Jeff Walker and Langhorne Slim. Amram knew Woody Guthrie since 1956 and in 2005 was commissioned by Woody’s children Nora and Arlo, to compose a new symphonyTHIS LAND: Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie, which was premiered in 2007 and recorded with Amram conducting the Colorado Symphony in 2012 released in 2014 by Newport Classic Records and now also available on Vimeo On Demand In 2012, he was awarded the Pete Seeger Power of Song Award, in 2016 the first Spirit of Farm Aid Award for his 30 years of performing with Willie Nelson’s annual concert for family farmers and in 2017 the Folk Alliance International’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Amram was the first composer- in-Residence for the New York Philharmonic, Joe Papp’s NY Shakespeare Festival, and the Lincoln Center Repertory Theatre Company. He has composed more than 110 symphonic and chamber music pieces. the scores for Broadway plays, and major films. His classical collaborations have included work with Leonard Bernstein, Dimitri Metropoulos, Sir James Galway, Pinchas Zuckerman, William Steinberg, Rudolph Serkin and Eugene Ormandy. In February of 2019, England’s Moochin’ About Records completed the international release of the 5 CD Box Set of DAVID AMRAM’s Classic American Film Scores (1956-2016) i The box set includes seven of his major film scores , including John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate and The Young Savages; Elia Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass and The Arrangement; and Jack Kerouac’s Pull My Daisy, plus two of the scores he composed for the theatrical Broadway productions of Arthur Miller’s After the Fall, and Budd Schulberg’s On the Waterfront. In 1957, Amram and Jack Kerouac presented New York’s first-ever public Jazz/Poetry perfromance , which led to further collaborations with Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Felinghetti and Gregory Corso. The documentary film DAVID AMRAM The First 80 Years was released in 2011 and is now available on Vimeo On Demand. His fourth book, DAVID AMRAM: The Next 80 Years will be published in 2020 by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, who have also published his other three books as well as his forwards to books by Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.
David Amram has been described as “a living legend, one of the great raconteurs of our time, and the real ZELIG! “. At 88, In addition to writing new music, he continues to perform around the world as a guest conductor, soloist, multi-instrumentalist, band leader and narrator in five languages.