Saturday, August 14, 2010

David Amram documentary

David Amram is the only musician I’ve ever seen conducting symphony orchestras, playing folk music at jazz festivals, jazz at folk festivals and music from around the world everywhere. He’s composed all manner of musical works from symphonies and operas to jazz to folk-like songs to film and theatre scores. His books are fascinating reads. He’s performed with many of the greatest orchestras and with people ranging from Dizzy Gillespie to Bob Dylan to Ramblin' Jack Elliott to Willie Nelson to Jack Kerouac to me (David has brought me up on stage to read from Kerouac's On the Road while he leads a jazz group).

I first met David 36 years and he’s been a great friend – and tremendous influence on how I approach listening to music – ever since. I produced his first Montreal concert in 1979 or 1980 (he's since been to Montreal to conduct the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and I Musici de Montreal chamber orchestra and to perform at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. This photo was taken by Ron Petronko while we were having lunch during the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2004.

David turns 80 this coming November and is as active and vital as ever. A documentary film, David Amram: The First 80 Years is scheduled to come out in April 2011. Here’s the trailer.

--Mike Regenstreif

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