David Amram Comments On Bobby Sanabria's West Side Story Reimagined
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Photo: David Amram-Bobby Sanabria-Randy Klein Jazz Heads Records Owner
 
A CLASSIC!
 
Both the recording and the incredible concert at Lincoln Center Out of Doors will always will be remembered as a great tribute to Lenny and all he did to celebrate the gifts of some of our greatest US citizens from the Island of Puerto Rico who brought their families, their culture  and their values to the mainland here in NYC.
 
Last night was a truly historic event, and Bobby and his great musicians made all New Yorkers feel proud to be in a city with so much beauty and rich cultural heritages help us to  TRANSCEND bigotry, real estate greedsters and all varieties of philistines and remain a place where we can all share one another’s best traditions.
 
The concert was all about that, and after all the wonderful poetry and singing, I am still remebering the joy of sitting and listening to Bobby leading his great  band and taking us all to school.
 
It reminded me of when i saw Arturo Toscannini conduct the NBC orchestra when i was six years old.
 
Thank you Randy for the challenge and hard work you have done to issue such a fine recording!!
 
The concert took place a few hundred feet from where Lenny conducted the Philharmonic which I went to every day for the 1966-67 season  
when Lenny chose me to be their first-ever  composer-in-residence.
 
This neighborhood was also where Thelonious Monk lived when I used to visit him and his wife Nellie in 1955 when I was playing with Charles .Mingus and studying composition and the Manhattan School of Music. And 63 years later, the neighborhood was honored.
As you know, San Juan Hill was the community where  so much of the music we now treasure was created and preserved.  This  fostered the creative energy that inspired Lenny to celebrate the gifts and the people who shared their rich culture  with us  and helped him to dare to create WestSide Story. 
 
My manager Doug Yeager came to the concert and LOVED it and he will put that fine photo of the three of us on my Facebook page.
 
 Hopefully that will be a small way to get even more attention to Bobby and his life’s work in bringing the treasures of Latin/Jazz and some of the timeless traditional music, dance and poetry of Puerto Rico to everyone here on the mainland as well as to people around the world.
 
What a timeless tribute to Lenny and WestSide Story.
 
Good luck with your composing.
 
With a lot of naches (and an extra plate of Nachos)
 
David Amram
 
Photo by Jim Eigo

 
 
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