David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, and was Leonard Bernstein’s choice at the first ever composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic. His classic scores for the films “Splendor in the Grass” and “The Manchurian Candidate” incorporated jazz and symphonic music.
He and author Jack Kerouac gave the first public jazz/poetry readings in history. Amram is also the author of three books. He has performed and recorded with the bands of Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Pettiford, and Mary Lou Williams.
A renowned improvisational lyricist, Amram is a virtuoso on folkloric instruments from 25 countries, an Ambassador of World Music since the 1950s, and acknowledged alongside Julius Watkins as a pioneer of jazz French horn. He still travels the world as a conductor, soloist, bandleader, visiting scholar, and pentalingual narrator, while continuing to compose new classical works and perform with his own jazz quartet. (Description courtesy of Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame)