Jazz Cruise to Celebrate David Amram’s 80th Birthday

August 10th, 2010, 12:00 pm by Greg

David AmramThe multi-talented, genre-smashing musician-composer-conductor David Amram will be honored with an 80th birthday celebration and cruise on Friday, September 17 in Lake George.

The celebration – which has been dubbed “David Amram: The First 80 Years” – will begin at the Shoreline Restaurant at 6pm with a birthday cake and several brief testimonials by several key people who were involved in Lake George Opera’s 1968 world premiere production of Amram’s opera, “Twelfth Night.”

The cruise on The Adirondac will begin boarding at 7pm and will leave the Shoreline dock a half-hour later. The cruise will feature food and drink, as well as a jazz performance by the David Amram Quartet.

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UPDATE: Tickets for the cruise will cost $25 and may be purchased by calling 518-899-3000.

By the way, Amram’s 80th birthday doesn’t really roll around on the calendar until November 17 – but that’s no reason to get in the way of a grand party.

Amram’s early birthday celebration and cruise will kick off the Lake George Arts Project’s annual Lake George Jazz Weekend, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 18-19 in Lake George’s Shepard Park. Organized by Paul Pines, the festival will feature a performance by the David Amram Quartet on Saturday, September 18. Admission to the Saturday and Sunday concerts is free.

Amram – a Pulitzer Prize winning composer who has collaborated with a dizzying diverse collection of artists over the years, including Charles Mingus, Leonard Bernstein, Jack Kerouac, Dizzy Gillespie, Pete Seeger, Allen Ginsberg, Steve Martin, Joseph Papp, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and many more – last performed at the Lake George Jazz Weekend in 2001, just days after 9/11, when he conducted a soaring, cross-pollinated performance by the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra with jazz band the T.S. Monk Sextet.

Here’s the line-up for the 2010 festival in Shepard Park:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1-6pm:
The Daniel Kelly Trio
The David Amram Quartet: The First 80 Years
Roseanna Vitro, Mark Soskin and more: “The Randy Newman Project”

SPECIAL SATURDAY PERFORMANCE, 7:30pm:
The Christian Scott Quintet

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1-6pm:
The Sharel Cassity Quintet
The Buster Williams Quartet with Stefon Harris and Cindy Blackman
The Samuel Torres Group