David Amram-composer, jazz artist, conductor, and world music pioneer-has been described by the Boston Globe as "the Renaissance man of American music." From early collaborations with Kerouac and Sinatra, chosen by Leonard Bernstein as the New York Philharmonic's first composer in residence, Amram's artistry has taken him from concerts with Willie Nelson to jamming with the Massai tribe of Kenya. In Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat, Amram recounts his extraordinary adventures in the many worlds of music he calls home, all told in a rollicking anecdotal style that makes you feel that you are at home around the world. He writes, "Everywhere I have been in the world, music transcends politics. As musicians, we were able to go beyond all that and just be fellow human beings." Threading through Amram's tale of music, hard work, respect, and friendship are unforgettable stories of fellow great artists-Dizzie Gillespie, Hunter S. Thompson, Janet Gaynor, George Plimpton, Lyle Lovett, Zoe Caldwell, Willie Nelson, and many more.