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Michele Ramo & Cliff Monear, and select vocal pieces by Heidi Hepler

Steinway Jazz Cafe Events

Michele Ramo & Cliff Monear, and select vocal pieces by Heidi Hepler

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

General Admission: $17.00
Steinway Society Members: $12.00
Tickets available at the door (cash or check)


Michele Ramo: Guitarist, Violinist, Mandolinist & Composer

Michele Pugliese Ramo was born 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!


Cliff Monear: Jazz pianist

A product of the Berklee College of Music “ Cliff’s jazz group, “The Cliff Monear Trio,” is one of the busiest performing rhythm sections in the Midwest.
In addition to this very full private and public performance schedule, and teaching commitments at Wayne State University, Cliff is the exclusive Steinway & Sons representative for the Michigan jazz community.


Heidi Hepler: Vocalist & Lyricist

Heidi Hepler – 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 America pageant, 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, Portuguese, 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.

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