David Amram Meets Bongo Joe

How a celebrated composer of classical and film music came to know an iconic San Antonio street performer.

By James BakerMay 14, 2018 9:30 am, , , ,

From Texas Public Radio:
When HemisFair ’68 opened its gates on April 6, 1968, scores of dignitaries, world leaders, and A-list entertainers passed through San Antonio over the next six months. Not all were invited as performers. Percussionist George Coleman came, not as a participant in the fair, but as a street performer, a busker. He was interesting, an entertainer, and eventually a downtown fixture who came to be known by the nickname, Bongo Joe.

Arriving as an accredited participant was the composer/musician David Amram. He had been invited to compose a musical score for a film by Francis Thompson. Called “U.S.”, the movie was made to be viewed as a feature presentation at the U.S. Pavilion. David Amram describes how he came to be part of the project:

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