A long time ago (use your imagination), I drove David Amram and his buddy, Victor Venegas around Boulder for a week of festivities honoring Allen Ginsberg. Hauling equipment, getting everyone to the gigs on time, finding something to eat. It was fun. I had been a fan for years and couldn’t believe my luck. Mr. Amram, as I called him, has been around the block more than a few times and has met and played with all kinds of people – Kerouac, Corso, Ginsberg, Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Willie Nelson, Dylan, Nina Simone, Ramblin’ Jack, Monk, Odetta, Tito Puente, Betty Carter, Pete Seeger. It’s endless. The guy never sleeps and I wonder if he ever has.
He’s got more energy and puts it to more use than anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s a composer, performer, writer, artist, traveler, father, farmer, and all around cultural resource and treasure. He plays everything from whistles to French horn, piano to percussion. He was Composer in Residence with Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic, jammed with everyone and anyone, and has championed World Music for decades. He wrote his autobiography when he was about 12, or 30, or something, and has documented his adventures and thoughts in two additional books. He has embodied and promoted music of every kind, since he first received a bugle at age six. Mr. Amram is a generous force of nature, tirelessly sharing joy, melody, and rhythm everywhere he goes.