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Sun, April 21, 2013
7p & 8:30p
"Pizzarelli demonstrated his legendary and characteristic style on his seven-string instrument; he created long and flowing lines, plucked as well as strummed in a muted fashion, tastefully employing his ample and diverse resources as a musician."
-Erik R. Quick, All About Jazz
This performance is supported by the Don Chisholm Friends of Jazz at Kerrytown Concert House.
A superior guitarist appreciated by swing musicians in particular, Bucky Pizzarelli has been a fixture in jazz and the studios since the early '50s. Self-taught, Pizzarelli has long been a master of the seven-string guitar. He toured with Vaughn Monroe before and after a stint in the military. In 1952, Pizzarelli joined the staff of NBC and 12 years later he switched to ABC; in addition, he worked with the Three Sounds (1956-1957) and had several tours with Benny Goodman. In the 1970s he was more active in jazz, co-leading a duo with George Barnes and working with Zoot Sims, Bud Freeman, and Stéphane Grappelli, among many others. Pizzarelli has since kept up a busy recording schedule and plays often at jazz parties. Bucky has also recorded with his son, John Pizzarelli, on an occasional basis since the early '80s, including the albums Nirvana (1995), Solos & Duets (1996), Contrasts (1999), Passionate Guitars (2001), and Generations (2007). Also in 2007 the senior Pizzarelli recorded 5 for Freddie: Bucky's Tribute to Freddie Green on the Arbors label.
Michéle (pronounced "Me-kel-ay) 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. 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 a music conservatory where he began 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 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.
Ramo has performed at Jazz Festivals such as: 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.
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/opertta 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.