Prolific musician and composer David Amram will host an event at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro tonight, with special guests David Need and Joseph Donahue.
Staff writer Avery Thompson spoke with Amram about his love of music, his career and his legacy.
Daily Tar Heel: How did you become interested in music?
David Amram: On my sixth birthday, I was given a bugle by my father. He opened up the box and there was this shiny bugle, and before I could even look at it he picked it up naturally and started playing it himself.
I began to really become interested in music by listening to radio and when I went to public school during the Great Depression.
Then I moved on to D.C. and came upon what was called the “checkerboard neighborhood” — where black and white folks would gather — and I heard jazz, blues and street music.
I’ve been doing that ever since, and wherever the music has lead me, I’ve followed that. And at the age of 82, I’m still learning new things.
DTH: How has being versed in multiple instruments helped you create a signature sound?
DA: As a composer, when I’m writing a symphony, or like in my last piano concerto, I use just about every instrument in the orchestra.