Heidi Hepler - Singer & Lyricist
Singer, Lyricist and Actress grew up in the Midwest outside of Detroit in Livonia, Michigan. At the age of nine she began singing in her church choir and studying cello. Always involved in school plays and vocal groups, Heidi would eventually meet and begin advanced vocal training with New York lyric coloratura soprano - Marjorie Gordon, who, lucky for Heidi, had moved to Detroit when her husband, the great violist Nathan Gordon became first violist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Heidi spent time in Los Angeles where she worked with the renowned vocal coach Seth Riggs. Theater and voice studies were continued with the University of Michigan Opera Theater at Interlochen National Arts & Music School. A former Miss Michigan who represented the state at the Miss Americapageant, Heidi's musical theater/light opera, regional theater and summer stock include the roles of Marietta in "Naughty Marietta", Lauretta in "The Music Master", Fiona in "Brigadoon", Julie Jordan in "Carousel", Luisa in "The Fantastiks", Miss Fancy - Sly Fox', Veronica - 'Veronica's Room', Eve -'Apple Tree', Belinda in "Dido & Aeneas". She has sung with various opera/operetta groups including The Michigan Opera Theater, Piccolo Opera Company and the Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor.
Heidi Hepler is known for her lively spirit and beautiful voice as she combines the theater background and love of languages into her exquisite song interpretations.
Hepler sings with ease in English, Italian, French, Portugese, Spanish, German and other languages. From 1990-1994 while living and performing in Rome, Italy - Heidi was heard by the producer of large jazz festival as she sang in a Rome Jazz Club. He immediately booked her as a featured performer at the '15th Festival Jazz di Roma'. On top of performance, Heidi became Technical Producer and oversaw all production, artist contracts and worked with agents world wide for this 30 day festival which took place in the Roman Olympic Stadium. Her dual language ability and background as a performer was a huge plus as the artists she oversaw included, Archie Schepp, Ornette Coleman, The Manhattan Transfer, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Pat Methany, James Moody, John Faddis, Tower of Power and many other artists.
In 1994 Heidi and Italian guitarist, violinist and composer Michele Ramo began working together and were married the same year. They toured Europe for 9 months and received rave reviews. Heidi and Michele moved to NewYork in 1999, and were nominated Jazz Duo of the Year in by MAC - Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabaret. They have been heard together at Birdland Jazz Club, Iridium Jazz Club, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Duplex Theater, The Triad Theater, The National Arts Club for the Dutch Treat Club, as well as performing a double bill with the great guitarist/composer Jorge Morel in the Virgin Islands for Art D'Lugoff, owner and impresario of the world renowned 'Village Gate' Jazz Club. They have released 15 CD projects on their 'MoonBoat Records' label. 'Felicita' is a voice and guitar Duo CD of all original songs recorded live in studio.
Heidi teaches privately and also spent 5 years teaching voice at Five Towns College of Performing Arts in New York. Recently relocated back to Michigan after many years in New York City, Heidi continues to teach, perform, and is delighted to combine her love for yoga with the importance of 'the breath' and singing.
Michele Ramo - Guitarist ~ Violinist ~ Mandolinist & Composer
(Pronounced: Me-kel-ay), was born Michele Pugliese Ramo in the Italian Mediterranean fishing town of Mazara Del Vallo, Italy - on the coast of Sicily. He grew up in a small village of 300. His playgrounds were vast grape-vineyards, rocky hillsides and olive orchards... sheep & rock-lizards. He played guitar with the barbers in the little town square and hid his school books in the fields of ancient volcanic caves because he only wanted to 'play music' - not go to school! At age 13 he entered music conservatory where he took up violin studies. By 17 he had his first professional contract with the Italian State Opera House "Teatro Massimo" in Palermo. 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 ... It was here he continued on the guitar and put the violin away for ten years. He met singer Heidi Hepler who had been living and performing in Rome, Italy... She heard the violin one day... Well, it is out of the case now!
- Ramo has performed at Jazz Festivals such as:
The North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Molde Jazz (Norway), Fano Jazz (Italy) Montreal Jazz, 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
- Guitarists: Bucky Pizzarelli, John 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.), Andreas Oberg, Tony DeCaprio, Gene Bertoncini, Jorge Morel, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Wayne Wright, Jack Wilkins, Frank Vignola, Larry Coryell...
Horn Players: Paquito D'Rivera, Lew Soloff, 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, Rayse Biggs, Patrick Hession...
- 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', Stephen Vaglica, Antonio Fortunato, Bill Meyer, Ken Cox, Luis Resto, Tom Borshuk, Alex Rybek, Ross Paterson, Ronnie White, Gary Schunk, Cliff Monear....
Singers: Heidi Hepler, Jill O'Hara, Steven Maglio, Laura Bell Bundy, Felicia Finley, Nancy Anderson, Sherri Lewis, Mary Cleere Haran, Hugh Panaro, Terry Burrell, John Pagano, Tony Roberts, Billy Porter, Liz Callaway, Ilene Kristen, Joan Crawford, Shahida Nurullah, Mark Randisi, Lisa Agazzi, Angela Theis...
- Drummers/Percussionists: Roy Brooks, Guilherme Franco, Joe Cocuzzo, Marcello Pellitteri, 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, Renee Gonzalves, George Davidson, Bill Cairo, Pepe Espinosa, Pete Siers...
Bass Players: Bunny Brunel, Rodney Whitaker, Nilson Matta, Bill Coleman (U.K.), Andy McKee, Joe Fitzgerald, David Dunaway, Ralphe Armstrong, Don Mayberry, Ray McKinney, Kurt Krahnke, Dan Kolton, Remi Vignolo (France), Steve Kirby, Jerry Bruno, Rufus Reid, Steve La Spina, Jay Leonhart, Jaribu Shahid, Hubie Crawford, Greg August, Gary Mazzaroppi, Andrew Lloyd, Paul Keller...
- Violinists: Regina Carter, Pietro Marabete, Marlene Rice, Charles Wizen...
Bandoneon/Accordeon: Peter Soave, Eddie Monteiro, Julien Labro, Art Van Damme, Frank Marocco, Alain Musichini...
- Harmonica: Clay Posler, Hubie Crawford...
Before moving to the U.S.A., Ramo was a member as Violinist with Symphony Orchestras such as: E.A.T.M. Teatro Massimo (Palermo, Italy), E.A.O.S.S. Sinfonica Siciliana (Palermo, Italy), O.R.F.I.T. Orchestra Filarmonica del Tirreno (Tuscany, Italy), Le Junes du Mediterranee (France, Spain, Italy, Greece).
He has appeared on TV & Radio Broadcasts: R.A.I. (Italian Radio Television Network), PBS, WDIV-TV, WJBK Fox 2, ABC, WDET-FM, WEMU-FM, WJR-AM, WON...
Ramo has been invited to play for artists such as: Flamenco Guitarist Carlos Montoya, Baritone Singer Sherril Milnes, Jerry Lewis, Bill Cosby, Singer/Guitarist Jose Feliciano, Flutist James Galway...
Ramo has Recorded 17 Albums as Leader,
"Song Stories" (2015) - Heidi Hepler - voice & Ramo on 6 & 8 String Guitar
"Brazilian Choros" (2014) - Maurita Murphy-Marx (Clarinet) & Ramo on 8 String Guitar
- "A Cigar & A Scotch" - Live at Jenuwine (2014) …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…
"Duets with Friends" (2011) - Ramo on 6 & 8 String Guitar featuring: Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, Jorge Morel (Guitars), Marcus Belgrave (Trumpet), Larry Nozero (Flute & Clarinet), Roy Brooks, Guilhermo Franco (Percussion), Heidi Hepler (Voice).
- "The Song Is You" - Tribute To Lawrence G. Williams (2008) Ramo on 8 String Guitar and Marcus Belgrave - Trumpet.
"Ramo Italian Tapestry" (2008) Michele Ramo - Solo 8 String Guitar.
- "Oh Lady Be Good" (2006) Michele Ramo - Violin, Bucky Pizzarelli - Guitar and Jerry Bruno - Bass.
"Mick & Mundy" (2005) in duo with jazz guitar legend Mundel Lowe and special guest singer Heidi Hepler on 'Sicily'.
- "Ramo" (2004) solo guitar.
"Felicita" (2002) voice and guitar duo with wife/singer Heidi Hepler.
- "Full Moon Above New York City" (2002) Jazz Violin with piano, bass & drums.
currently sold out and out of print:
"Essence Of Romance" 1990
"Earth & Sun" 1992
"Live At Kerrytown" 1993
"Kiss My Head" 1994
Ramo Music Publishing just published a new Book/Cd (2011)
"The Music of Michele Ramo" 12 Originals for Classical & Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar.
Mel Bay Publishing published his Book/Cd "Tribute to Guitar Masters" for solo Classical and Jazz Guitar (2005).
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.
Ramo relocated back to Michigan after living in New York City for 12 years with his wife, singer-lyricist and voice teacher Heidi Hepler.
He currently teaches Jazz Violin, Guitar & Mandolin in his private studio.