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The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Salutes the Decidedly Multi-Stylistic Musician David Amram

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, OK – On today's StudioTulsa, we chat with the brilliant, amiable, and ever-genre-crossing musician David Amram, who will soon turn 81, and who will receive the Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame tonight (Wednesday the 16th) at the hall's Jazz Depot at 7:30pm. To say that Amram has had a remarkably long and richly varied career in music seems --- somehow --- like a serious understatement. This is a man, after all, who --- as a composer, musician, conductor, and performer in the realms of jazz, classical, folk music, world music, film composing, and so forth --- has collaborated with everyone from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Willie Nelson, Leonard Bernstein, and Sir James Galway, to Tito Puente, Arthur Miller, Pete Seeger, Nina Simone, Jack Kerouac, and Oklahoma's own Red Dirt Rangers. Amram has a CD entitled "No More Walls" --- and that, in a nutshell, has been his musical philosophy for the several decades comprising his still-active career. (The New York Times once noted that Amram "was multicultural before multi-culturalism existed.") Or, as Will Rogers might have said, Amram never met a musician he didn't like. Also, a documentary film about this legendary artist's life and work, "David Amram: The First 80 Years," will be screened tomorrow night (Thursday the 17th) at 7pm at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. (For more information, please visit okjazz.org.)