Happy Birthday David Amram

November 17, 1930


A tribute to the remarkable and always enthusiastic Amram

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Composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist David Amram was born November 17, 1930
in New York City.

Amram was one of jazz’s first French horn soloists, plays penny whistles, flutes and a variety of percussion instruments, is a fine pianist, and has been an important composer since the 1950s.

Consistently enthusiastic and upbeat about music, Amram has not only been active in the jazz world but has composed classical works, two operas and soundtracks, and long been an exponent of World Music with a love for jamming with anyone from any field.

His long list of collaborators includes Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Jack Kerouac (being a pioneer in the poetry and jazz movement), Langston Hughes, Pete Seeger, Willie Nelson and Leonard Bernstein.

This film clip from a Thelonious Monk tribute concert in the 1980s features Amram on penny whistles playing “Dizzy Atmosphere” with Dizzy Gillespie and talking a bit about Monk’s legacy.


David Amram, penny whistle
Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet
Walter Davis Jr, piano
Percy Heath, bass
Roy Haynes, drums

– Scott Yanow


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