“There are many pianists out there who have razzle-dazzle styles, but that’s not where my heart is,” explains Los Angeles-based musician Esteban Ramirez, who has released his third national album, Fly with Me, on the Descanso Music label. “My spirit leads me to music that is romantic, lyrical and strongly emotional.”
Esteban was born and raised in the border town of El Paso, Texas. He began taking piano lessons at age ten and a year later began composing little vocal and instrumental songs. No sooner did his mom notice his talent when she directed his creative energy to becoming the church pianist at their congregation at the age of 11.
At 14 Esteban wrote out the score for one of his compositions, River Raindrops, but “my piano teacher was not impressed.” However, a few months later, Esteban was chosen to perform this same piece at the televised Southwest Songwriters Showcase in a full 500-seat auditorium where he was the only musician to receive a standing ovation.
“It wasn’t until my 20s that I started embracing music as my passion in life,” Esteban recounts. “I tried going the working 9-5 route, but there was always something deep inside of me that said ‘You have to do your music.’ Eventually, in a cosmic kind of way, there was no other choice but to do just that, and I did.”
Working a full-time job at a social service agency, he spent his evenings and weekends dedicated to his music. In 1995, he recorded four orchestrated pieces initially as a demo-tape for booking live performances, but soon began selling the cassettes at church concerts.
In 1998 and with the help of a family loan, he released his first national album of gentle piano melodies, Serenade to the Moon. The album received critical acclaim, being noted as strongly lyrical and compelling.
A couple of years later, Esteban released his second album Welcome Home, an elegantly evolved piano solo album with cello on four tracks. His latest release, Fly with Me, brings Esteban to a new level in his artistry, as it incorporates the tenderness of his piano style with an ensemble featuring oboe, violin, cello, and strings.