Happy Birthday, David Amram!

17 Nov

Happy birthday to David Amram!

Michael Limnios of Blues.Gr put together a great tribute to David Amram featuring:

It is well deserved!

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Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is now available as an ebook and paperback!



3 Responses to “Happy Birthday, David Amram!”

  1. david amram November 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Dear Stephanie

    Before my NEXT birthday, i wanted to thank you for your nice note!!

    With your good thoughts, I made my connection to a new year in my life, by finally getting off the 82 train snd changing to the 83 train and as a result arrived in time for my my birthday without getting derailed.

    I spent the whole day and night entering the BIG 83 hiding out and writing music.

    It was great having the time off, and also have me time to realize how lucky i am to have three great kids, a first grandchild, dear friends and amazing health, which allows me to continue my crazed schedule without collapsing, and having the energy to keep trying to improve in all the things i do.

    I think the best thing we can all do in this life is to do what Dizzy Gillespie told me when Wolf Trap Farm and PBS were honoring him on his 70th birthday.

    “David, when i met you in 1951 you were just a hayseed kid. Now you got grey hair. It’s time to put something back into the pot”

    And I realize more each day that if you are lucky to be around long enough to be able to get old, this senior-bopper status can be a threshold for a series of new adventures. So now that I have hit the big 83, this qualifies me technically, if not becoming an old sage, at least to becoming Older!! And society then allows you to pontificate and dispense wisdom.

    I am still searching for some wisdom, and recently realized that when you get as close to Methusala City as I am, and try to figure out what it all means, you realize that the most important thing for us to do in this life is to make SOME kind of contribution while we are here.

    I hope my efforts will inspire young kids to hang in there FOR LIFE, especially when they are told by their career councilors that they should give up before they have had a chance to even get started.

    I also hope that my own continuing struggles, combined with the joy I still receive from pursuing what I love to do can make some kind of contribution.

    And we all have something worth sharing with others, but often our dreams appear to be hopeless to experts who themselves have often given up hope.

    So when young kids come to me and say “I wish i had been around when knew and worked with all these fantastic people. i wish i had lived during that time”, i always tell them what Charlie Parker told me in my basement apartment in 1952 in Washington D.C. when i asked him what it was like to have his song “Now’s the Time” (which he had composed seven years earlier in 1945)

    “It’s just the way it should ” he said. “Now was and will always be the time because Now is the RIGHT time!”

    2014 will be my most exciting year in decades and I am working hard so that everything I do will be the best that I am capable of creating, and my efforts will foster creativity in others.

    We are all born with gifts.

    Now I have to put my heavy philosophical thoughts into action, and go back to the grindstone, in order to complete the third and final movement of Three Greenwich Village Portraits for Alto Saxophone and piano so the the 40+ saxophonists who formed the consortium to have me write it for them, will have time to learn it.

    The 40+ players are all giving premieres of the new piece in venues all around the world, during the same week that the Boston Symphony’s Ken Radnofsky is giving the official FIRST world premiere performance at the Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village February 16.

    Since each of the three movements are dedicated respectively to the memories of Arthur Miller, Odetta and Frank Mccourt (all of whom i met and spent wonderful times with during the years i lived in the Village) I am trying to make it a piece that will make musicians want to play it and encourage composers to write for the saxophone which, thanks to the geniuses of jazz have made it an instrument of unlimited possibilities.

    And the new generation of classical saxophonists are phenominal players and bring a fresh voice to concert music because of their increased awareness of global music and how to incorporate that in the concert traditions of Western classical music.

    All best holiday cheers with high spirits and low carbohydrates!!

    And looking forward to reading your new book!!

    David amramdavid@aol.com http://www.davidamram.com home 845.528.4305 mobile 914.299.3497 928 Peekskill Hollow Road, Putnam Valley NY 10579

    Best YouTube selections http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DE566F6F01A2403A


    URL for trailer of the film “David Amram: The First 80 Years” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5v6MeanQ28

  2. Stephanie Nikolopoulos November 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    David, I’m so happy you took some time off just for yourself! You are always giving so much and going going going, and I’m glad you were able to take a little time for yourself, hiding out and doing what you love best. What you wrote is so beautiful. Sometimes it’s important to stop and look around and appreciate all that we’re blessed with, as you did, thinking about your family, friends, and health. I think so many people look at life and ask what they can get out of it, but as you point out, it’s better to be thankful for what we do have and to contribute the best we can.

    Charlie Parker was right! Now IS the time! Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything.” I liked what you said about us all being born with gifts. I really do believe we each are unique and therefore have our own gifts to contribute that no one else can contribute and therefore it is our responsibility to contribute them.

    Your Three Greenwich Village Portraits sounds ambitious, and I know it will be inspired AND inspiring. I’m looking forward to hearing it!


  1. David Amram On Contributing Our Gifts | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - December 3, 2013

    […] worth paying attention to. It’s worth really meditating on. You can read his entire comment here, but I’ll highlight a few things in […]

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