David Amram is an American Original. He has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works in addition to many memorable scores for film, theatre and opera, and has conducted symphony orchestras on every continent except Antarctica. Among his classic film scores are Splendor in the Grass and The Arrangement (both directed by Elia Kazan); and The Manchurian Candidate and The Young Savages (both directed by John Frankenheimer). And, the Library of Congress has given Landmark Film Status to the 1959 art film `Beat’ classic Pull My Daisy, co-starring Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg and David Amram, with a masterful music score by Amram. Its' title song has become a jazz classic and David’s signature song.
David is also recognized as a celebrated jazz, folk, Latin, Middle Eastern and Jewish, Indian and Pakistani, pan African, Celtic and Native American music artist for more than half a century; considered a musical progenitor of `world music’ (decades before the term existed); and has even recorded a country album with himself as singer, guitarist, composer and lyricist.
A pioneer player (along with Julius Watkins) of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, as well as being an inventive, funny improvisational lyricist and scat singer. He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Joseph Papp, Langston Hughes, Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, Dizzy Gillespie, Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Eugene Ormandy, Budd Schulberg, Norman Corwin, Charles Mingus, Alan Ginsberg, Candido, Pete Seeger, Lionel Hampton, Hunter Thompson, Tito Puente, Odetta, Alan Ginsberg, E. G. Marshall, Steve Martin and Johnny Depp. In addition to being one of the founding members of 1950s Beat generation, Amram and author/poet Jack Kerouac pioneered the first public jazz/poetry readings ever presented in New York, soon followed by twelve years of musical collaboration (including the classic film “Pull My Daisy’). One of Amram's recent classical works "Giants of the Night," commissioned and premiered by Sir James Galway, is a flute concerto dedicated to the memory of three American artists whom Amram knew well and worked with: Charlie Parker, Jack Kerouac and Dizzy Gillespie.