DAVID AMRAM The First 80 Years! A Musical Celebration

DAVID AMRAM: The First 80 Years Jazz, a spectacular, historic celebration of a true American original whom the Washington Post has described as “one of the most versatile and skilled musicians America has ever produced,” will be presented by Jazz Forum Arts on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, in Manhattan, it was announced by Mark Morganelli, Executive Director of the presenting organization. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Clearwater, the organization founded by Pete Seeger, as well as the Woody Guthrie Foundation

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The historic concert will feature:

· The New York premiere of Amram’s “Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie” performed in memory of Odetta by the 60-piece Queens College Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Peress. The work will be introduced by Nora Guthrie, who commissioned it with support from the Guthrie Foundation, based on her father’s song “This Land is Your Land.”  

·The New York premiere screening of the finale of the recent production of Amram’s 1968 comic opera “Twelfth Night” with a libretto by the late Joe Papp, which will be introduced by Bernard Gersten, Executive Producer of the Lincoln Center Theater and former co-producer with Joe Papp of the New York Shakespeare Festival.

·The first ever concert performance of excerpts from Amram’s classic film scores, “Splendor in the Grass” (1960), and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962), performed by the Brooklyn Conservatory Jazz Ensemble, directed by Earl McIntyre, and The Jazz & Gospel Choirs, directed by Renee Manning.

· “En memoria de Chano Pozo” for Latin/jazz group and symphony orchestra, performed in memory of  Dizzy Gillespie by the Queens College Orchestra, conducted by David Amram, with guest soloists Candido (congas) and Bobby Sanabria (timbales) with Amram himself on piano, pennywhistles and percussion.  

·“One Heart, Many Voices,” performed by Amram’s Middle Eastern Trio with Avram Pengas (guitar and Bazookie) and Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza.

·Malachy McCourt will introduce Amram’s  “The Fox Hunt From Cork Meets The Blues From New York,” performed by Larry Kirwan (Black 47), John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Amram’s Latin/Jazz Ensemble and dancers from the Stella Adler School of Acting.

·Actor John Ventimiglia (The Sopranos) will read excerpts from Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” followed by performance Kerouac/Ginsburg/Cassady title song from the 1959 Best Documentary Film “Pull My Daisy.

The star-studded salute will also include filmed 80th birthday wishes from Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson, members of the N.Y. Philharmonic, and friends and colleagues from around the country. There will also be appearances and performances by Amram’s friends from the world of theatre, film and music, including actor Keir Dullea (2001: A Space Odyssey), Josh White Jr., Patience Higgins,  the Amram Family Band and current members and alumni of Amram's quartets from the past 40 years, as well as other surprise guests.  

The entire concert will be filmed by Lawrence Kraman for his documentary film “David Amram: The First 80 Years,” segments of which will be shown for the first time at this concert. To see links for the trailer, visit here and for the poster.

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During his illustrious career, David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works; numerous scores for Broadway theater and film; two operas, and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac.  He is also the author of three books, published by Paradigm Publishers.  A pioneer player of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, in addition to being a renowned improvisational lyricist.  Amram has collaborated with Langston Hughes, Dizzy Gillespie, Dustin Hoffman, Johnny Depp, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente and Leonard Bernstein, who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966.  One of Amram's most recent works, Giants of the Night, a flute concerto, was commissioned and premiered by Sir James Galway.  Today, as he has for over 50 years, Amram continues to compose music while traveling the world as a conductor, soloist, bandleader, visiting scholar, and narrator in five languages.  He celebrates his 80th birthday on November 17th.  Additional information is available at http://www.davidamram.com/

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Tickets for DAVID AMRAM: The First 80 Years are: $75, $55 and $35 (members, students, seniors: $70, $50 and $30; children: $65, $45 and $25) and can be purchased at the Symphony Space Box Office, 212.864.5400, or at http://www.symphonyspace.org.  For information about Jazz Forum Arts, call 888.99.BEBOP, or visit http://www.jazzforumarts.org/.

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