So Many Stars
''So Many Stars' is just one of the many that will shine in Heather Ramsey's career.' - Chuck Workman, WICR Jazz Show Host '. . . an impressive debut.' - Scott Shoger, NUVO Newsweekly The seeds that would begin Heather (Ault) Ramsey's musical career were planted very early in life, mostly being sown as she was surrounded by her musical parents, grandparents and extended family at their small church in northern Indiana. Family members spent hours out-harmonizing one another at family reunions, church gatherings and holiday meals, accompanied by grandma's sweeping piano flourishes and grandpa's booming baritone. Heather's knack for harmony, improvisation and vocal styling most certainly grew from these early influences. Playing piano and flute through high school and early college years brought in a more classical foundation in reading music and understanding theory and musical structure. In her later college years, however, Heather got her first professional performance training from Purdue Musical Organizations, where directors Brian Breed and Ly Tartell (and several others!) taught her to engage audiences, improve her vocal technique and love live performance. She was listening to everything from Lauryn Hill to Celine Dion, Janis Joplin to Eva Cassidy, and Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah McLachlan, beginning to develop a simultaneous love for R&B, pop, blues and jazz. When Heather first moved to Indianapolis in 2001, she began singing standards with well-known accompanist David Meek at Ruthellen's (now the Abbey) downtown. She then auditioned for and was selected as the "front girl" for local cover bands Tastes Like Chicken, the Jackson Street Orchestra and Blair & Company. While she still plays with these bands, Heather is not to be so easily swayed from her passion for jazz, and, in addition to her continued performance with David Meek and Blair Clark, she also works on occasion with big bands such as Cool City Band and the Tom Mullinix Orchestra. It was at a show with Tom Mullinix where she met acclaimed pianist and arranger Chris Rutkowski. When Chris expressed interest in arranging for a solo project, Heather's debut album began to take shape. Celebrated bass player Frank Smith joined Heather and Chris for several live performances, where they worked on arrangements and selected the songs now appearing on "So Many Stars." Chris provided musical direction and arranging, renowned drummer Kenny Phelps joined the group, and sax genius Tom Walsh from Indiana University added his smooth tenor to several arrangements, all of which were recorded by Chip Reardin at Airtime Studios in Bloomington. About her new release, Heather says, "This project is a compilation of jazz standards with a bit of R&B and pop on the side - a melting pot for the styles and artists that have had a great influence on me. I'm incredibly proud to have Chris, Frank, Kenny and Tom with me on 'So Many Stars,' and I can't thank them enough for lending their extraordinary talents and support to take this album to new levels. The creative energy in the studio was totally electric!" Heather released "So Many Stars" on November 30 at The Jazz Kitchen to a sold-out audience. Of her musical future, she says, "'So Many Stars' is a great snapshot of where I am in my career right now and is a terrific representation of the fine musicians I was fortunate enough to work with. I can't wait to get started on the next project!"
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