March 21-25



Wednesday, March 21
  • Arrives in Austin at 4 pm
Thursday, March 22
  • 12:45 PM - Interview at radio station KUT by 12:45 pm
  • 3:00 PM - Rehearsal for the evening concert at Congregation Agudas Achim, 7300 Hart Lane
  • 7:30 PM - Concert
Thursday, March 22, 2012   7:30 PM
Congregation Agudas Achim, 7300 Hart Lane

The Austin Jewish Film Festival is honored to present
this program in celebration of its 10th Anniversary


From Akko to Austin: Home On All the Ranges

A Concert with David Amram and Friends

John Inmon, guitar, Glenn Fukunagabass and Paul Pearcy, drums


L'Mizmor David (Song of David) - An Israeli adaptation of an old Lebanese folk melody featuring the halil (a shepard's flute), the tambor and the dumbek (also known as the Tov or Esther's drum).

Waltz from Arthur Miller's After the Fall - Music from Amram's score was used for the opening of the Lincoln Center Theater in NYC. Waltz uses some of the prayer modes of the Jewish liturgy from ancient Middle Eastern modes, which become the basis for improvising, just as jazz is created spontaneously but always coming from a cultural root.

Summertime - Gershwin's classic song from his opera Porgy and Bess reflects a combination of the cantorial music Gershwin heard as a boy, as well as being inspired by the Gullah and Geechee music and spirituals he heard when he spent time on Esdo Island in South Carolina while composing Porgy and Bess.  This features the unique gifts of guitar master John Inmon.

Take the A Train - Billy Strayhorn's classic theme song for Duke Ellington's band. When Amram conducted the NY premiere of Ellington's Black, Brown and Beige Suite for symphony, orchestrated by Maurice Peress.  Ellington encouraged Amram to continue learning and sharing music from around the world as well as incorporating elements of it into his formal compositions, just as Ellington had done for decades.

Mastinchele Wachipi Olwan - This Traditional Native American Lakota social song was taught to Amram by the late Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman, a long time favorite at the Kerrville Music Festival. This ancient melody became the theme for Amram's Trail of Beauty for oboe, mezzo-soprano and orchestra commissioned and premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.  It features the traditional courting flute known as the sheeho.

Tumbalalaika - A classic song in Yiddish (known as the mamaloshen), which reflects the reverence for music and the instruments played by Central Europe's most accomplished pickers, the Balalaika spielers, as well as the Klezmer musicians who were the musical road warriors of the small communities (shtetels) which they traveled to.  A surprise guest from the Agudas Achim will be singing.

Aya Zehn - This traditional Egyptian song features the dumbek, tambor and shanai, an ancestor of the oboe.  This classic melody, composed in the Hijaz mode is played throughout the Middle-East and is often used to accompany dancers.

My Buddha Angel in Chengdu - A poem Amram wrote about his last night in China.  The use of the Chinese folk oboe, known a hulusi, in this minor mode blues was inspired his trip to Chengdu, China where Amram demonstrated his collaborations with Jack Kerouac, including their pioneering the first-ever public jazz/poetry readings with music in New York City.

Variations on Red River Valley - This set of improvised variations became the basis for Theme and Variations on Red River Valley for flute and strings commissioned and premiered by the Kerrville Folk Festival and written in memory of Lukenbach Texas' legendary mayor, Hondo Crouch. This improvised version was also inspired by Old Testament bible stories Amram was told by his father on their family farm.  Because of Amram's own Southern roots (the Amram family immigrated to Savannah Georgia in the 1850s), and his own years of living in the South, he felt at home in Texas the first time he traveled through the state over sixty years ago and still feels that way today.

Hava Nagila - One of the most popular songs in the world, this piece combined traditional Jewish music of many genres with Middle Eastern music and early jazz, and in this special Lone Star version, everyone, including the audience, gets a chance to go into uncharted waters.


Friday, March 23
  • Interview with Annette "Ace" Eshleman
Saturday, March  24
  • 9:00 PM - screening of David Amram: The First 80 Years at the Regal Arbor Cinema 8, (9828 Great Hills Trail, Austin, TX), presented by The Austin Jewish Film Festival as their opening film.  This is also the Texas premiere of the film.  The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Amram and director Lawrence Kraman.
Sunday, March 25
  • 12:45 PM - second (and free!) screening of David Amram: The First 80 Years at the Regal Arbor Cinema, (9828 Great Hills Trail, Austin, Tx), presented by The Austin Jewish Film Festival  
  • 7:30 PM - Final Show at Casa Karen for Jazz/World Music concert, At Home Around The World with David Amram and Friends - John Inmon, guitar, Glenn Fukunaga, bass and Paul Pearcy, drums