David Amram is a composer, performer, and jazz legend. In the interview David discusses his music and some of the famous people he has known and worked with throughout his interesting life.
Amram is a living link to the past and the flourishing art scene in Paris, and later NYC, after WW 2. It was a time of great creativity as America came out of shadow of the dreary war years.
David witnessed the shifting of the art world from Paris to New York in the 50s with the rise of the art movement known as abstract expressionism. In a Zelig-like fashion, Amram was also able to meet many of the top artists at such famous NYC institutions as the Cedar Tavern. Later, he would also work with many, and he became especially close to beat author Jack Kerourac.
The many names of David’s friends and associates include jazz great Dizzie Gillespie, abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and William Dekooning; composer Leonard Bernstein who did the music for “West Side Story”, and playwright Arthur Miller. David worked on the music for two of Arthur Miller’s plays. Miller’s most famous play is “Death of A Salesman”.
Amram also did the music for several famous films. These include “The Manchurian Candidate” with Frank Sinatra, and “Splendor In The Grass” which was Warren Beatty’s breakthrough role.