"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: [email protected]://www.tradebit.com and website https://www.tradebit.com Email us your postal address as well as email address for concert info.
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