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A Cigar & a Scotch (Live At Jenuwine)

Michele Ramo World Jazz Orchestra

…this new Live Recording of the Michele Ramo World Jazz Orchestra feature 8 original compositions fusing elements of Traditional Jazz, Afro-Brasilian Samba, Cuban Montuno, Bossa Nova and Jazz Ballades with some of the top notch musicians of Detroit Music City…

Recorded Live at Jenuwine Cigar & Jazz Lounge in Sterling Heights, MI (between January & September 2013) Mixing & Editing by Bob Phillips at Sound Escape in Shelby Twp, MI

Cover Photo by Kerry Bowman Photography © 2013 CD Design by Jonn Shomoun © 2013 Musicians Photos by: Tony Montana, Heidi Hepler © 2013

Produced by Michele Ramo & Danny Patrona Executive Producer: Danny Patrona

© ℗ MoonBoat Records & Ramo Music (BMI) 2014 All Rights Reserved

Musicians: Michele Ramo – Violin, 8 String Guitar & 8 String Requinto Guitar Heidi Hepler – Voice (5) Danny Patrona – Piano (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8) Walter White – Trumpet & Flugelhorn (1) Johnny Trudell – Flugelhorn (6) Andrew Bishop – Clarinet & Soprano Sax (2, 5) Russ Miller – Alto Sax (3) Vincent Chandler – Trombone (7, 8) Cary Cocher – Vibraphone (4) Ralphe Armstrong – Bass (2, 5) Ray Tini – Bass (1, 3, 4) Andrew Lloyd – Bass (7, 8) Miguel Gutierrez – Drums & Percussion (7, 8) Bill Cairo – Drums (1, 4) Pete Siers – Drums (2, 5) Jim Ryan – Drums (3)

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Duets with Friends

Michele Ramo

!!!...Ramo on 6 & 8 String Guitar featuring: Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, Jorge Morel (guitars), Roy Brooks, Guilhermo Franco-drums & percussion, Marcus Belgrave-trumpet, Larry Nozero-flute & clarinet, Heidi Hepler-voice..!!! Brazilian & Jazz

Michéle Pugliese Ramo was born May 5th 1964 in the Italian Mediterranean fishing town of Mazara Del Vallo, Italy on the southwest coast of Sicily. Michéle (pronounced: Me-kel-ay), grew up in the small village of ‘Borgata Costiera’. A true Classical-Jazz crossover artist – Ramo is a 6, 7, and 8 string Classical-Brazilian-Latin-Jazz guitarist, violinist, mandolinist, as well as a composer and educator. Along with his accomplishments, Ramo is the inventor of his full time playing instrument – a one-of-kind unique guitar-bass combination. Built by Luthier Rich DiCarlo, it is a 6 ½ octave instrument with 2 fretless basses.

He had early guitar studies with Prof. Giuseppe Crescente in Mazara Del Vallo 1978, early violin studies with Prof. Lorenzo Figuccia 1979, and early piano studies with Prof. Giuseppina Villani-Linares 1980.

At age 13 ½ he entered music conservatory in Trapani where he took up violin studies. He studied violin and viola with Prof. Giuseppe Reina, piano and theory with Prof. Giuseppina Adamo, and harmony and composition with Prof. Antonino Pappalardo. Ramo’s advanced violin studies continued with: Joseph Opitz, Teo Oloff and Pietro Marabete.

In only a few short years, at the age of 17 Ramo had his first professional contract with the Italian State Opera House ‘Orchestra del Teatro Massimo’ (Palermo, Italy) After one year Ramo left the orchestra to tour Europe with the International Youth Orchestra - 'Le Juness Du Mediterrancee' (France, Spain, Italy, Greece). He contracted with ‘Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana' (Palermo, Italy), and worked also as Concert Master with 'Orchestra Filarmonica del Tirreno' touring throughout Italy.

Michéle earned his Master's Degree In Violin Studies with the highest of honors in 1985 from the Concervatory of Caltanissetta - Italy.

After five years in various Italian state symphony orchestras at age 23, Michéle, always the 'independent doer', made musical shock waves within his circles by quitting and moving to the United States to pursue his work as a composer and instrumentalist in jazz. His first stop: New York City. Unable to speak English and soon out of money he went to Detroit where he knew a friend from his town. For the next twelve years Detroit was his home where he was befriended by Jazz greats such as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, pianists Harold Mckinney, Ken Cox and Teddy Harris Jr., drummers Roy Brooks and Lawrence G. Williams.

In 1994 he met and married singer-actress-lyricist and former Miss Michigan, Heidi Hepler when she returned to her home state of Michigan after living and performing a number of years in Rome, Italy.

Although Ramo did his very serious studies on violin, he played both of his instruments constantly. Thus, carrying over his violin studies, orchestral and string quartet experience to the guitar. Both violin and guitar are so intertwined into his musicality that they are a part of his nature. While still in conservatory, Ramo won a prestigious spot for master class studies in classical guitar with Maestro Alirio Diaz. He performed in Master Classes with Joe Pass, Charlie Byrd, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Baden Powell and Kenny Burrell.

Jazz Festivals include: The North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Molde Jazz (Norway), Fano Jazz (Italy) Montreal Jazz (Canada) Ottawa Jazz (Canada), Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Freiburg (Germany), Paris, Ile Del Re, Souillac, (France), Montreux-Detroit Jazz (USA), Cork Jazz (Ireland), Barcelona, Madrid (Spain), Republica de Andorra, International Jazz Guitar Festival (Wales, U.K.), Burlington Jazz, Arkansas Jazz (USA), Athens, Corfu, Corintos, Patras (Greece) and many more...

Ramo has Performed/Toured or Recorded with the following artists: Guitarists: Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, Martin Taylor (U.K.), Howard Alden, Al Caiola, Les Paul, Gary Potter (U.K.), Trefor Owen (U.K.), John Etheridge (U.K.), Andy MacKenzie (U.K.), Tony DeCaprio, Gene Bertoncini, Jorge Morel, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Wayne Wright, Jack Wilkins, Frank Vignola , Jimmy Bruno, Vic Juris. Horn Players: Paquito D'Rivera, Marcus Belgrave, James Carter, Jim Seely, Donald Walden, Walter White, Walter Szymanski, Phil Lasley, George Benson, Larry Nozero, Larry Smith, Ron Blake, Johnny Trudell, Todd Curtis, Dwight Adams, Vincent York. Pianists: Arturo O'Farrill, Yaron Gershowski, Ector Martignon, Harold McKinney, Dr. Teddy Harris Jr., Rio Clemente, Edy Martinez, Russ Kassoff, John DiMartino, Tommy James, Kuni Mikami, Mark Berman, Buddy Budson, Salvatore Spano', Antonio Fortunato, Bill Meyer, Ken Cox, Luis Resto, Tom Borshuk, Alex Rybek, Ross Paterson, Ronnie White. Singers: Heidi Hepler, Jill O'Hara, Mary Cleere Haran, Laura Bell Bundy, Aaron Caruso and Steven Maglio, Heather Parris, Felicia Finley, Nancy Anderson, Sherri Lewis, Hugh Panaro, Terry Burrell, John Pagano, Tony Roberts, Billy Porter, Shaida Nurhullah, Liz Callaway, Ilene Kristen, Joan Crawford.

Drummers/Percussionists: Roy Brooks, Guilherme Franco, Joe Cocuzzo, Vanderlei Pereira, Jay Dittamo, Francisco Mora, Vince Cherico, Diego Lopez, Kim Plainfield, David Silliman, Jimmy Madison, Miguel Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Pistol Allen, Dennis Sheridan, Lawrence G. Williams, Leonard King, Larry Fratangelo, Lorenzo "Spoons" Brown, Jamie Rusling, Renee Gonzalves, George Davidson Bass Players: Jerry Bruno David Dunaway, Rufus Reid, Steve La Spina, Ralphe Armstrong, Rodney Whitaker, Nilson Matta, Marco Panascia, Bill Coleman (U.K.), Andy McKee, Joe Fitzgerald, Don Mayberry, Ray McKinney, Kurt Krahnke, Dan Kolton, Remi Vignolo (France), Steve Kirby, Jay Leonhart, Jaribu Shahid, Hubie Crawford, Greg August, Peter Dominguez Violinists: Regina Carter, Pietro Marabete, Charles Wizen. Bandoneon/Accordeon: Peter Soave, Eddie Monteiro, Julien Labro, Art Van Damme, Frank Marocco, Alain Musichini. Harmonica: Clay Posler, Hubie Crawford...

He has appeared on TV & Radio Broadcasts: R.A.I. (Italian Radio Television Network), PBS, ABC, WDET, WEMU, WJR, WON, WBGO and has played for artists such as: Flamenco Guitarist Carlos Montoya, Baritone Sherril Milnes, actors Jerry Lewis, Bill Cosby, singer/guitarist Jose Feliciano, and flutist James Galway.

Michéle Ramo has produced 14 recording projects as leader:

“Duets With Friends” (2011) originals & standards - featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Jorge Morel, Mundell Lowe, Larry Nozero, Guilhermo Franco, Marcus Belgrave, Roy Brooks and Heidi Hepler. "The Song Is You" - Tribute To Lawrence G. Williams (2008) Ramo on 8 String Guitar and Marcus Belgrave - Trumpet. Standards with some originals. "Ramo Italian Tapestry" (2008) Michele Ramo - Solo 8 String Guitar – Italian classics "Oh Lady Be Good" (2006) Michele Ramo - Violin, Bucky Pizzarelli - Guitar and Jerry Bruno - Bass. 20’s, 30’s & 40’s jazz classic standards. "Mick & Mundy" (2005) in duo with jazz guitar legend Mundel Lowe and special guest singer Heidi Hepler on 'Sicily' – Standards w original "Ramo" (2004) solo guitar – Original and standard, brazilian mix "Felicita" (2002) with Heidi Hepler - voice and guitar duo – all original songs "Full Moon Above New York City" (2002) Jazz Violin - all original music with
piano, bass & drums. Currently out of print -- with portions to be re-issued: "Kiss My Head" (1994) Live concert performances – all originals "Live At Kerrytown" (1993) originals and standards "Earth & Sun" (1992) with percussionist Jamie Rusling – all originals "Jealousy" (1992) originals and standards "Essence Of Romance" (1990) all originals "Tina" (1988) standards and originals

Ramo and his group have been featured at concert events along with world renowned artists including Yo Yo Ma, James Galway, Ertha Kitt, Barbara Cook, James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Featured in NYC at Symphony Space with Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Birdland, Iridium Jazz Club, Michele and is wife Heidi are busy full- time as freelancers - performing, writing and teaching.

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'The Song Is You' Tribute to Lawrence G. Williams

Marcus Belgrave & Michele Ramo

"A rare musical duo of guitar and trumpet, Ramo and Belgrave have shown their true ability to give passion a voice." - Lorelei Clarke - JazzReview.com

MARCUS BELGRAVE - Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Vocal MICHELE RAMO - 8 String Guitar "Hei-D MOSTRO"

Detroit is celebrated as a place of origin for some of the finest musicians in jazz. But the Motor City is also a crossroads, a city that has attracted and nurtured fine players from other towns and other lands, and the often sent them out into the world. When one thinks of musicians such as Paul Chambers, Frank Foster, Sheila Jordan, or Yusef Lateef, their Detroit roots come to mind, but none of them were actually born there. Likewise, the three protagonists of the story of this recording come from areas far apart on the globe, from Sicily, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.

Trumpet master Marcus Belgrave hails from Chester, PA. He began to attract attention as a member of the small band that accompanied Ray Charles in the sixties, but after five years on the road he decided to settle down in Detroit, attracted by the rich jazz scene and session work at Motown Records. He went on the road again with Lloyd Price, whose backup band was led by Slide Hampton at the time, but by 1967 he was back, and has been living in the Motor City ever since. Belgrave may have settled down, but he has never sat still, traveling widely to perform and record. He soon became one of the central voices on the local music scene, playing with just about everyone, but also organizing and teaching, inspiring and mentoring new generations of jazz musicians, among them Rodney Whitaker, Regina Carter, and James Carter. He continues to instruct to this day, as a visiting professor at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and at other universities as well. Belgrave, who seems equally at home with traditional jazz, bebop, and the avant-garde, has appeared on numerous recordings by Ray Charles, Curtis Amy, Hank Crawford, Charles Mingus (check out Prebird and Changes II), and Horace Tapscott, among others. He has also released some magnificent albums of his own, including a lovely set with pianist Art Hodes, a set of duets with Tommy Flanagan, Gary Schunk, and Geri Allen, as well as a quintet date co-led with Lawrence Williams. Michéle Ramo came to this country from the very south of Italy, the Sicilian seaside town of Mazara Del Vallo, where he first started as a classical violinist, and then took up the guitar as well. For years he was a member of the Italian State Symphony Orchestra in Palermo, but an early infatuation with jazz led him to move to the United States, where he settled in Detroit. In the Motor City he played all kinds of music, including his beloved jazz, and in 1990 he met singer Heidi Hepler, who soon became his wife and also his closest musical partner. Eventually they moved to the East Coast, where they have been constantly expanding their musical horizons, working with a wide range of artists of all generations playing jazz, Brazilian music, and the classics. He seems to have endless energy, developing new instruments, new musical associations and directions, composing, teaching, and writing instructional books. He has released thirteen albums, exploring both of his instruments: most recently on ‘Oh’ Lady be Good’ he stuck to the violin, accompanied by guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and bassist Jerry Bruno. On ‘Mick and Mundy’ he switched to guitar, playing in tandem with the great guitarist Mundell Lowe. The instrument Michéle plays here is the Hei-D MOSTRO eight string guitar of his own design, constructed by New York luthier Rich DiCarlo. The standard guitar has six strings, although in various times and places there have been other versions. Russian and Portuguese guitars have eight strings, and the great jazz player George Van Eps pioneered the use of a seven-string version, a tradition continued today by Bucky Pizzarelli. Ramo, inspired by his friend Bucky, played a seven-string version for two years, but wanted something more. The new guitar he designed offers the player a 78-note range (from low D to high double D), hence the name, which is also a pun on Heidi), only one octave less than a grand piano; it is a full acoustic model with two built-in electric pickups. But unlike any other guitar, this one has no frets under the lowest two strings, making it similar to the string bass. The instrument is perfectly matched to Ramo’s complex, pianistic guitar style, allowing him to play single lines, chords, and a walking bass line all at the same time, with shifting voicings and different tonal shadings. There must be some bass players out there who rightly feel that this new instrument has deprived them of some gigs; indeed, on this recording it often seems that we are listening to a trio rather than a duo, with a phantom bass fiddle present but unannounced. In classical antiquity the letter was considered as a conversation between absent friends, and the present recording is best described as an epistolary exchange between Ramo, Belgrave, and their late companion Lawrence G. Williams III (1937 – 2006). Williams, who was born in Kansas City, Missouri, moved to Detroit, where he became one of the favorite drummers in town and a beloved member of the jazz community. This is where he met and befriended Marcus and Michéle; for many years he and Marcus co-led combos, and the one lasting memento of this partnership is the outstanding recording Working Together, consisting entirely of Williams compositions. Lawrence was a powerful and inspiring drummer, but he was also a prolific composer, who left more than two hundred tunes. When his health failed and he could no longer play, he took up painting and immediately excelled in that art, as well demonstrated by his painting that is featured on the cover of this album, from Michele’s private collection. In his last days in hospital, his old friends Marcus, Michéle, Heidi and Marcus’s wife Joan kept him company in his room, playing music while Lawrence talked about music. His last wish was that his two dear friends record together. Ramo and Belgrave had long intended to do this, but this request prodded them to bring the project to life, albeit with a completely new perspective. And so here they continue the conversation with their absent friend. The love letters on this CD are a mixture of standards and originals. It all begins with “The Song Is You,” followed by Ramo’s dedication to Williams, “A Song for a True Artist,” and then comes the question “Where are You?” The answers are contained in “East of the Sun,” and in one of Tadd Dameron’s most beautiful creations: “If You Could See Me Now.” Half conversation, half tribute, the recital is never maudlin or even sad; it affirms the life and art of Williams, as expressed in the last four compositions of the recital. After a relaxed “Angel Eyes,” Ramo and Belgrave offer us a rendition of Willams’ best-known composition, “Number 6.” Marcus had already recorded it in partnership with the composer on Working Together, and aspiring jazz musicians may know it from a somewhat unreliable version printed in volume 3 of a commonly used, albeit illegal, fake book. They can now study an authorized account, based on Lawrence’s original manuscript. It all ends in an affirmation of life, as Marcus sits back and sings a relaxed rendition of “What A Wonderful World.” The human race seems to do everything possible to change that, but with people like these and music like this, who could object to such expressions of hope?

Piotr Michalowski

Piotr Michalowski is a writer, scholar, and musician residing in Ann Arbor, MI.

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Full Moon Above New York City

Michele RAMO

Jazz Violin- Fresh, New, Extremely Hip & Eclectic. Passionate, Exquisite Sound and Music from this new and exploding, artist.

MICHELE RAMO Violinist-Guitarist-Composer-Music Educator

"Ramo is the real thing! Stephane Grappelli would have loved him!" Bucky Pizzarelli guitarist

"RAMO's guitar playing is outstanding and he is a Composer to be reckoned with!" Charlie Byrd guitarist

Ramo is known for his special sound, musical sensitivity and extraordinary ability to move easily between his two instruments - GUITAR and VIOLIN He has a unique and sought-after ability to blend his classical and jazz worlds into his teaching and performance.

This CD features Tommy James on Piano; David Dunaway on Bass; Jimmy Madison on Drums and was Recorded Live in Studio in New York City. Track 7 feature Peter Soave on Bayan (Concert accordion) with a seven piece group Live at Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival.

MICHELE RAMO (pronounced: Me-KEL-ay) Italian born violinist, guitarist and composer was born in the Mediterranean fishing town of Mazara del Vallo, Italy. He grew up in a small Sicilian village population: 300. His playgrounds were vast grape-vineyards, olive orchards and rocky hillsides.... weather-worn shepherds with almond walking sticks and their herds of sheep and goats were his buddies. When he was a small boy Michéle found a little guitar 'prize' in a cereal box - from that moment on he knew music would be his life. But it was not until age twelve and one half that Michéle finally had a guitar of his own. He hid his schoolbooks in the ancient volcanic rock caves because he only wanted to 'play music' and not go to school! He played guitar with the circle of barbers in the little town square where learned old Sicilian and Neapolitan folk songs. There was no guitar program at the music conservatories, so he chose violin and began studies at age thirteen when he entered the Music Conservatory in Trapani and Palermo.

In 1983 just after five years of violin studies, Michéle received his first professional contract with the Italian State Symphony opera orchestra "Orchestra Del Teatro Massimo in Palermo. After one year he left to tour Europe as Concert Master with the International Mediterranean Youth Orchestra -"Le Juness Du Mediterranee." In 1985 he was contracted with "Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana" and worked as concert master with "Orchestra Filarmonica Del Tirrreno touring Italy.

Michele earned his Master's degree in violin with the highest of honors in 1985 from the conservatory of Caltanissetta - Italy. Passionately inspired by a recording he was given of Joe Pass and Stéphane Grapelli , he knew it was only a matter of time and he would be moving on. So after five years in the Italian State Symphony, at age 23, Ramo made 'musical shockwaves' within his circle by quitting such a prestigious position and moving to the United States to pursue his work as a composer and instrumentalist in Jazz. His first stop was New York City. Unable to speak English, his guitar stolen in Florence, and soon out of money - Ramo went to Detroit where he knew someone. Detroit would be his home and jazz training ground for the next twelve years working with jazz greats such as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, drummer Roy Brooks, pianists Teddy Harris & Harold McKinney. It was here he met and made friends with guitar greats Charlie Byrd, Joe Pass and Carlos Barbosa-Lima. During this time Ramo had put his violin to rest for ten years. He worked as a full time guitarist. After meeting his future wife, singer Heidi Hepler, he brought out the fiddle one day - she heard....and well, it is out of the case now!!!

Michele and his wife singer, lyricist Heidi Hepler are a full-time voice-guitar duo and song-writing team. They moved from Detroit to New York in September 1999. They have toured throughout Europe, the U.S. In New York the Hepler-Ramo Duo has performed at the Duplex Theater NYC, Iridium Jazz Club, Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Ashford and Simpson's 'Sugar Bar,' and the prestigious National Arts Club, Merlot at Lincoln Center, Medí at Rockefeller Center, 6 month run at Grand Ticino in the Village, (as seen in the film "MoonStruck") Mr. Art D'Lugoff - the famous impresario and owner of world-renowned jazz club "The Village Gate" is booking them as well. They were recently featured as special guests at Long Island University's Guitar Festival for the American Guitar Museum's 'Players Choice Awards' 2002. They share their music for various causes including 'Hearts and Voices,' performing for aids patients at New York City Hospitals.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 - Heidi and Michele became involved with the volunteer efforts and played music regularly for police, firemen, red cross workers, and all involved in the recovery and clean-up at 'Ground Zero.' They performed for a number of months at "Nino's" on Canal Street near 'Ground Zero' which was opened 24 hours a day feeding, for free, anyone and all involved in the effort. Ramo wrote a piece in tribute to all, entitled "WTC." It was recorded live in November 2001 in NYC and will be released on the violin album "Full Moon Above New York City."

RAMO HAS PERFORMED AND OR RECORDED WITH BUCKY PIZZARELLI, PAQUITO D'RIVERA, MUNDELL LOWE, Al CAIOLA, JORGE MOREL, JAMES CARTER, HOWARD ALDEN, JACK WILKINS, JIMMY BRUNO, VIC JURIS, RODNEY JONES, WAYNE WRIGHT, FRANK VIGNOLA, LES PAUL, GENE BERTONCINI, RON BLAKE, REGINA CARTER, ROY BROOKS, MARCUS BELGRAVE. CONCERTS & JAZZ FESTIVALS - NORTH AMERICAN & EUROPEAN: MONTREUX-DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL, BURLINGTON JAZZ FESTIVAL, MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL, OTTAWA JAZZ FESTIVAL NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL, GERMANY - FREIBURG, BERLIN, FRANKFURT, IRELAND -CORK JAZZ FEST., NORWAY, FRANCE - PARIS, SOUILLAC, ISLE De RE, SPAIN - MADRID, BARCELONA, ANDORRA, FANO JAZZ FESTIVAL ITALY, GREECE - ATHENS, CORFÚ, CORINTOS, PATRAS.

Ramo is publishing a book of original compositions - jazz charts for all instruments and arrangements for classical guitar, as well as his arrangements of American standards and standards from around the world. He is compiling a book and video for the finger-style guitarist. This is a compilation of years of work applying various techniques unique to Ramo's self-taught guitar work and includes violin applications. Currently available is the book of original compositions: "The Art of Bossa Nova."

Ramo teaches guitar and violin in his home studio in New York. FOR BOOKING and Info: 212-539-3873 and email: Ramo@RamoMusic.com and website www.Ramomusic.com Email us your postal address as well as email address for concert info.

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Felicita

Heidi Hepler & Michele Ramo

"Voice & Guitar Duo - An extraordinary blend of Classical, Brazilian, Flamenco and Jazz with a touch of the Exotic"

Exciting - Eclectic - Fresh & Hip!

Heidi HEPLER & Michele RAMO Voice & Guitar Duo "This is an extraordinary Duo whose intriguing blend of Classical, Flamenco, Latin, Brazilian and Jazz music is beyond category! ...with a touch of the exotic...!" - Detroit Jazz Magazine -

"Hepler and Ramo don't play music - they celebrate music!" -Rhein-Nahe-Zeitung Frankfurt-

"...share with their audiences the spirit and soul of their musical panache." - Queens Tribune NYC 2002-

Michele RAMO (pronounced Me-KEL-ay) Italian born violinist, guitarist and composer. grew up in a little Sicilian village near the Mediterranean fishing town of Mazara del Vallo, Italy. He played guitar with the local babers in the town square learning Italian and old Sicilian folk songs. At age 13 he entered music conservatory where he began violin. By age 17 Ramo had his first professional contract with the Italian State Symphony Opera House in Palermo. After five years in various Italian State orchestras and a Master's Degree in violin studies, Michéle left for the United States to pursue his work as a composer and instrumentalist in jazz. He put away the violin for the next ten years and worked as a guitarist full time.

HEIDI HEPLER a classically trained singer, theater performer and lyricist grew up in Livonia, Michigan. She studied theater and voice at Interlochen National Music School with the University of Michigan and studied privately with New York coloratura soprano Marjorie Gordon (who, lucky for Heidi, had moved from New York City to Detroit with her husband Nathan Gordon as he became principle Violist for the Detroit Symphony). A former Miss Michigan for the Miss America organization, Heidi had been living and performing in Rome Italy. Destiny called when these two met in Detroit in 1994. Heidi and Michéle began working together and were married the same year.

This eclectic Duo spent the next six years playing hundreds of gigs, writing and touring Europe. In late 1999, Heidi and Michéle moved to New York City where they have been heard at Weill Recital Hall, The National Arts Club, Iridium Jazz Club, Duplex Cabaret Theatre - Ramo is Jazz Violinist with Guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli and they have collaborated on a Jazz violin-guitar-bass recording. The new CD release (May 2006) is entitled "Oh'Lady Be Good".

Heidi and Ramo spent months volunteering at "Nino's" on Canal street and shared their music for all involved in the 'ground zero' recovery and cleanup.
"Full Moon Above New York City" - Ramo on Violin with trio - original compositions

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