1st Edition

Nine Lives of a Musical Cat

ISBN 9781594514241
Published October 30, 2007 by Routledge
342 Pages

USD $120.00

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Book Description

David Amram-composer, jazz artist, conductor, and world music pioneer-has been described by the Boston Globe as "the Renaissance man of American music." From early collaborations with Kerouac and Sinatra, chosen by Leonard Bernstein as the New York Philharmonic's first composer in residence, Amram's artistry has taken him from concerts with Willie Nelson to jamming with the Massai tribe of Kenya. In Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat, Amram recounts his extraordinary adventures in the many worlds of music he calls home, all told in a rollicking anecdotal style that makes you feel that you are at home around the world. He writes, "Everywhere I have been in the world, music transcends politics. As musicians, we were able to go beyond all that and just be fellow human beings." Threading through Amram's tale of music, hard work, respect, and friendship are unforgettable stories of fellow great artists-Dizzie Gillespie, Hunter S. Thompson, Janet Gaynor, George Plimpton, Lyle Lovett, Zoe Caldwell, Willie Nelson, and many more.


“David Amram is all joy. You can dip into this book at any page and find yourself breathless with wonder, music, laughter. That is his magic.”
—Frank McCourt, from the Foreword

“[David Amram is] a godsend to those who believe in the power of music to change lives and to inspire.”
—Wynton Marsalis

“David Amram was multicultural before multiculturalism existed.”
—New York Times

“One of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.”
—John Williams in Film Music

“A musical catalyst and leader on par with Leonard Bernstein, Pete Seeger, and Dizzie Gillespie.”
—Minneapolis Star

“Amram is a great musician, composer and storyteller. Shouldn’t it be against the law for someone to be so good at so many things?”
-William McKeen, St. Petersburg Times

“In his new memoir, David Amram tells all about his remarkable life adventures. … you’ll discover a unique voice and perspective. …”
—Scott Oglesby, American Book Review

“Upbeat is an episodic remembrance of a variety of colorful, surprising events from [Amram’s] long career. … He celebrates his famous acquaintances without bragging about his own abilities, and constantly displays a wide-eyed wonder about music as a universal language.”
—Scott Yanow, JazzTimes