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RAMO grew up in the small Sicilian village of ‘Costiera’, a hilltop village
located on the southwest coast of Sicily near the fishing port of Mazara del
Vallo. This is a rare story of a young Sicilian boy and a vast hidden reservoir of
unleased talents. With no musical exposure except for the local shepherds and
their 'Zufolo' - a handmade wooden flute, he would follow the sheep herds,
sitting upon the rocks to hear the shepherds play music while their sheep
grazed. He saw his first guitar ever on a television show and asked his mother
what it was. She replied, a guitar. Well, he said then and there that was what
he was going to be - a musician. With great persistance and his nature of
'never giving up', he finally convinced his parents to get him a guitar. He was
13 years old, and then, 6 months later he began violin studies at the
conservatory in Trapani. In only four short years of study, at the age of
seventeen, Ramo received his first professional contract with the Italian State
Symphony opera orchestra “Orchestra Del Teatro Massimo in Palermo. He
earned a Master's degree in violin from the music conservatory of
Caltanissetta. No small achievement as he finished this 10 year program in just
five years while working professionally. Ramo toured Europe 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.
After five years in various Italian State Orchestras, Ramo left the orchestra job and moved to the United States in 1987 to pursue his work as a composer and instrumentalist in Jazz.
He spent the next twelve years working with Jazz greats in Detroit where he soon developed an outstanding reputation as a top-notch musician and leader, performing as a soloist and with 'The Ramo Group'. Ramo moved to New York City in 1999 with his wife singer, lyricist Heidi Hepler.
Ramo is a Fingerstyle Nylon Jazz Guitarist ~ Jazz Violinist ~ Composer ~ Educator, Performer, and Teacher with more than 20 years of experience in live performance - jazz, orchestral, studio work, recordings, composing, finale engraving and teaching. Inventor of the ‘Ramo Hei-D MOSTRO’ 8 String guitar. ( See: 8StringGuitar.com )
PRIMARY INSTRUMENTS: 8 String Guitar Hei-D MOSTRO 8 String Requinto 7 String Fretless Guitar Violin Mandolin
TRAINING / EDUCATION • Master’s Degree in Violin from Italian Conservatory of Caltanissetta (1985) • Diploma in Piano as second instrument (Italy) • Diploma in Theory & Solfege (Italy) • Diploma in Harmony (Italy)
TEACHERS: Violin • Joseph Opitz - Germany • Teo Oloff - Israel/France • Pietro Marabete – Concert Master - La Scala, Milan Italy, Concert Master - Arena di Verona
Guitar Master Classes: • Alirio Diaz / Classical Guitar • Carlos Barbosa-Lima / Classical Guitar • Charlie Byrd / Nylon Jazz Guitar • Joe Pass / Jazz Guitar • Kenny Burrell / Jazz Guitar • Baden Powell / Brazilian Jazz Guitar
TEACHING 1982 – Present • Violin, Viola, Guitar & Mandolin. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced • Jazz Improvisation and repertoire - Standards, Latin & Brazilian • Classical repertoire - Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Modern, Contemporary • Theory, Sight Reading, Solfege, Chord Melody Style, Finale Notation - String Teaching Specialties: • Improvisation for Classical players…guitar, violin, viola, cello • Helping the classical students to improvise in Jazz • Analyze, Transcribe, Apply and Delivery. Guitar Specialty: Chord- Melody Fingerstyle Jazz – How to play melody, chords, rhythm and bass line at the same time.
COMPOSER Compositions Over 200 works in the Classical, Brazilian & Jazz styles
PUBLICATIONS: ‘Tribute To Guitar Masters’ Vol. I Original compositions for classical and jazz guitarists - Book/Cd – Publisher Mel Bay (2005) ‘The Art Of Bossa Nova’ Book – Publisher Ramo Music (1992) Original compositions
RECORDINGS: Recordings as Leader: released by Ramo Music / MoonBoat Records Label:
• 2008 The Song Is You - Tribute To Lawrence Williams. Michele Ramo-8String Guitar & Marcus Belgrave-Trumpet
• 2008 Ramo Italian Tapestry Solo 8 String Guitar / 17 Italian Classic Songs
• 2006 release ‘Oh' Lady Be Good’ w/ Ramo on violin, Bucky Pizzarelli - guitar and Jerry Bruno - Bass
• 2005 ‘Mick & Mundy’ - ‘I Didn’t Know About You’ guitar duo with Mundell Lowe - standards and one original
• 2004 ‘Ramo’ solo 6 & 7 String guitar - mix of standards and originals
• 2002 ‘Felicita’ Voice & Guitar Duo with Singer/Lyricist Heidi Hepler all original compositions
• 2002 ‘Full Moon Above New York City’ Jazz Violin with Quartet - all original compositions
• 1995 ‘Kiss My Head’ Ramo with his 7 piece group LIVE - all original compositions
• 1993 ‘Live at Kerrytown’ Ramo Quartet LIVE Original Music & standards
• 1992 ‘Jalousie’ solo guitar - originals and standards
• 1992 ‘Earth & Sun’ duo with percussion - originals
• 1990 ‘Essence Of Romance’ solo guitar - all original music
• 1988 ‘Tina’ solo guitar - originals and standards
Recordings as Guest Artist: 2008 'Alone Together' with Jill O'Hara • ‘Sonatina’ with Bucky Pizzarelli (2003) as Violinist • ‘5 CD set for a Japanese Label with new age flutist Nikkos (1995/1998/1999) as Guitarist • ‘Matador’ with singer songwriter John D Lamb (1998) as Guitarist and countless studio and commercial sessions.
PERFORMANCE: Jazz Performance:
The Ramo Group – recordings and performances – leader, composer, guitarist, violinist • Ramo & Heidi Duo – voice and guitar duo of Ramo and Heidi Hepler – USA & Europe • Ramo Solo – solo guitarist • Ramo guitarist on tour with James Carter’s Chasin’ the Gypsy Band 2001, 2002 • Ramo Violinist &/ or Guitarist with: Bucky Pizzarelli, Al Caiola, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O'Farrill Afro-Latin-Jazz Orchestra, Howard Alden, Martin Taylor, John etheridge, Trefor Owen, Gary Potter, Jimmy Bruno, Gene Bertoncini, Regina Carter, Les Paul, Marcus Belgrave, Roy Brooks, Harold McKinney, Ron Blake, Frank Vignola, Mundell Lowe, Jack Wilkins.
Jazz Festivals: USA, Canada and Europe: 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), Cork Jazz (Ireland), Barcelona, Madrid (Spain), Republica de Andorra, Burlington Jazz, Arkansas Jazz, Montreux-Detroit Jazz, Houston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Dayton, (USA), Athens, Corfu, Corintos, Patras (Greece).
Orchestral Performance: Violinist - Orchestra Del Teatro Massimo of Palermo, Italy (1983/84/85) Violinist - Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Palermo, Italy (1985/86/87) Violinist - Orchestra Filarmonica del Tirreno / Italy (1985/86/87) Violinist – La Junee Du Mediterranee (European Youth Orchestra) / France, Italy, Spain, Greece. (1984/85) Various Chamber Groups 1983-1987, Broadway ‘Al Jolson’ – guitar, violin, mandolin, ukulele and banjo.
ADMINISTRATION & COORDINATION OF EVENTS Shows Produced by Ramo Music: • ‘Ramo Guitar Night’ NYC with LaBella Strings - 2003- present 21 shows from 2003-2005 (See ‘Ramo Guitar Night’ in Photo Gallery of www.RamoMusic.com ) • Detroit Jazz Scene – hundreds of performances as group leader and show organizer • Preparing bookings, technical, music, promo material, mailings for Ramo Music / MoonBoat Productions. • Produced and recorded 13 projects from 1988 – present • Websites – Creation, info gathering & maintenance for four (4) website projects. • Photography • Organize shows • Booking musicians • Handle sound equipment & Lighting equipment
INVENTOR & CREATOR Invented a new concept in guitar design ~ The 'RAMO Hei-D MOSTRO' 8 string Guitar ~ Built by Rich DiCarlo (See www.8StringGuitar.com)
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: • AFM-802 New York City (American Federation of Musicians) • IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) • ASTA (American String Teacher Association) • BMI – Writer and Publisher (read less)