This 80th birthday concert salute to the legendary composer will feature Malachy McCourt introducing Amram's "The Fox Hunt From Cork Meets The Blues From New York," performed by Larry Kirwan, John McEuen, Amram's Latin/Jazz Ensemble and dancers from the Stella Adler School of Acting; John Ventimiglia reading excerpts from Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" followed by a performance of the Kerouac/Ginsburg/Cassady title song from the 1959 Best Documentary Film Pull My Daisy; and appearances and performances by such artists as Keir Dullea, Josh White Jr., Patience Higgens, the Amram Family Band.
Additional highlights will include the New York premiere screening of the finale of the recent production of Amram's 1968 comic opera Twelfth Night with a libretto by the late Joe Papp, introduced by Bernard Gersten; the New York premiere of Amram's "Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie" performed in memory of Odetta by the 60-piece Queens College Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Peress; excerpts from Amram's classic film scores, Splendor in the Grass (1960), and The Manchurian Candidate (1962), performed by the Brooklyn Conservatory Jazz Ensemble, directed by Earl McIntyre, and The Jazz & Gospel Choirs, directed by Renee Manning; "En memoria de Chano Pozo" for Latin/jazz group and symphony orchestra, performed in memory of Dizzy Gillespie by the Queens College Orchestra, conducted by David Amram, with guest soloists Candido (congas) and Bobby Sanabria (timbales) with Amram himself on piano, pennywhistles and percussion; and "One Heart, Many Voices," performed by Amram's Middle Eastern Trio with Avram Pengas (guitar and Bazookie) and Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza.
The star-studded salute will also include filmed 80th birthday wishes from Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson, members of the N.Y. Philharmonic, and friends and colleagues from around the country. The entire concert will be filmed by Lawrence Kraman for his documentary film David Amram: The First 80 Years, segments of which will be shown for the first time at this concert.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Clearwater, the organization founded by Pete Seeger, as well as the Woody Guthrie Foundation.