|David Amram at the Folk City 50th Anniversary|
There are few people who can say they've performed and collaborated with the best musicians and artists on Earth. If we were to narrow the list based on diversity alone, one man would stand alone: David Amram.
As a young man, jam sessions hosted in his basement apartment have included Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He's rapped with writers from Kerouac to McCourt. He's played with everybody from Bob Dylan to Willie Nelson to Thelonious Monk. He's learned songs and beats from people of Native Nations to Tito Puente.
NO PERSON can give firsthand accounts of their time spent within the multitude of cultures, musical genres and artistic movements like Mr. Amram can.
Some of the people David has called friends through the years are such luminaries as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Willie Nelson, Langston Hughes, Charles Mingus, Leonard Bernstein, Tito Puente, Arthur Miller, Miles Davis, Arturo Sandoval, Stan Getz, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Lord Buckley, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Allen, Machito, Allen Ginsberg, Nina Simone, Gregory Corso, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, Hunter Thompson and Johnny Depp.
Here are a couple of videos to prove it:
David Amram with Dizzy Gillespie:
David Amram on NY1:
David Amram at FarmAid:
Amram has also composed the score for such feature films as 'Splendor in The Grass,' 'The Manchurian Candidate' and he collaborated with Jack Kerouac on the landmark 1959 documentary 'Pull My Daisy.' He was the first composer-in-residence for the New York Philharmonic chosen by Leonard Bernstein, himself.
He's been around the world and back only to come back to Greenwich Village this Saturday!!
David is sure to be joined on stage by his son Adam on percussion. Two generations of Amrams will play together at the famous Gaslight, the same club where Jack Kerouac burst on to the scene beside the elder Amram.
Originally a poetry café, The Gaslight was converted to an acoustic music venue as the 50s became the 60s.
Former Gaslight owner Sam Hood was quoted reminiscing about performances like…
"Ramblin' Jack Elliott…. and the night Johnny Cash stopped in to do a guest show and Joan Baez singing along with a Doc Watson hymn and then, seven years later, singing along from the audience with Kris Kristofferson. There were a thousand things like that. And the nights when Bob Dylan would come in to work out a new song, to try it out in front of an audience."
Those were the days, but those days are not entirely gone.
My grandfather, Mike Porco, owned Folk City, a club that hired many of the same acts that appeared at the Gaslight.
Clubs like Gerde's Folk City, Café Wha? and the Gaslight helped usher in the scene that became known as the Greenwich Village Folk and Blues Revival.
And now, The Gaslight at 116 MacDougal Street has invited them all back down to the cellar to make those walls rattle again.
FRIENDS OF MIKE PORCO Presents THE DAVID AMRAM QUARTET live at The Gaslight
116 MacDougal St, NYC
116 MacDougal St, NYC
Saturday, December 15th
It's a euphoric drug of a show with HOT JAZZ, LATIN BEATS AND WIDE SMILES. The only necessary ingredient is your presence. The David Amram Quartet will handle the rest.
Hope to see you there!
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