Amzie was born in Orange, New Jersey on August 25, 1944. Because his mother was a painter and his father was a photographer, he grew up in an atmosphere of creativity which fostered and encouraged the his artistic development.
After completing his service as a marine at Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 1965, he relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina where he studied art at Fairleigh Dickinson University at North Carolina and worked with other artist and galleries in the area such as E.C. Bell and Keith Lambert. He also studied art at University of New Mexico Albuquerque. Some important influence on Adam's painting is the work of Francis Bacon, George Dureau, and Claude Howell.
Amzie moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1969. There his participation in the rich creative and cultural atmosphere of that great historic city inspired his work and gained him notoriety (as witnessed by PBS on their special production on New Orleans The American Experience (chapter 12). His painting in New Orleans has been inspired by New Orleans' culture and architecture.
Some of his many successful shows and presentations were multimedia (which included musical performance, performance art, and sculpture) such as “All Amzie All The Time” and Greg Creason's Gallery “Amzie Adams” show.
Amzie has been featured in Christopher Briscoe's book “The Spirit Of New Orleans”(quote here) and the book “All Amzie All The Time” by Charlene Insley (quote here). Over time Amzie has become recognized as an icon of the creative and free bohemian lifestyle of New Orleans as documented in Offbeat Magazine (R.Hart). NPR covered Amzie in an article that referenced an audio biography done by The New Orleans Historical Collection. His work includes an award winning film Mondo Mardis Gras.
Amzie began playing dulcimer in the 1960s. His skills and talent were honed during a five year period of touring the North America with his musical partner Kenny Snell. In New Orleans he began learning blues slide guitar from the historic bluesman Babe Stoval. Over the years his band “Spirit Walker” performed original music throughout New Orleans venues such as The Spotted Cat, Howlin Wolf, Snug Harbor, Gold Mine Saloon, Tipatinas and many others. His studio work include a collaborative effort of artist Robert Wyland with Taj Majal, Jon Cleary and others, called “Earth The Blue Planet” produced by Bingham at Piety Street Studio. His recording of original music“Streets of the Old Quarter” (?) produced by Yoko Ono's production company “John Lennon Recording Bus”, which charted at number 1 at MP3.com. In 2015 ,Adam's produced an album of original music titled: “ Hurricane” at George Buck's studio on Decatur Street in New Orleans. Adams continues to perform as well as build prize winning (cigar box gtr) musical instruments.