Born in Brooklyn, NY of Italian descent, Ann Anello was also known as Ann [Anne] Marie from the 1960s through 1976 and had many chart singles. With her parents’ encouragement, she was exposed to the very best in career training at a young age, studying with the legendary vocal coach, Carlo Menotti and world renowned acting teacher, Lee Strasberg. Ann is an honors graduate of Marymount Manhattan College/Mannes College of Music. At the age of five she became part of the “Golden Age” of live television, as a soloist on the weekly “The Children’s Hour”. Her appearances brought her to the attention of legendary composer Harry Ravel, who accompanied her and shaped her early career developing her stage talent.
A series of eagerly awaited live appearances led to her finding a manager, Tony Veltri, and a contract with Frank Sinatra’s newly formed Reprise Records. During this period she recorded several chart singles and recorded for the prestigious MGM, Jubilee, Kama Sutra, and ABC Paramount records. One day, while having a lesson with Carlo Menotti, Ann was discovered by Academy Award Winner Red Buttons who introduced her on the Merv Griffin Show.
At 12 years of age, Ann Anello made her theatrical debut in “Stop The World I Want To Get Off.” Ann also co-starred with Jackie Mason in John G Avildsen’s “The Stoolie”; and made her first trip overseas to Australia for TV and Theatre appearances in a show created for her by Tony Award winning writer, Martin Charnin (ANNIE). Returning from Australia, she was discovered by Broadway producer Leonard Silman, who signed her for his “Best of New Faces”, where she became his final Broadway theatrical discovery.
Ann won critical acclaim when she appeared on Broadway at the Shubert Theater in "An Evening of Music and Songs", with musical theatre luminaries Strouse & Adams, Kander and Ebb, and Sheldon Harnick. She also won critical acclaim in NYC in Leonard Sillman's "The Best of New Faces", the famed "Lyrics and Lyricists" series at the 92nd St. Y Kaufmann Concert Hall, the St. Regis, and Alice Tully Hall. According to John S Wilson with The New York Times, “Anello has a brilliant comedic sense and her voice could turn a low, breathy murmur into a full throated climax or a soaring howl. She energizes everything around her”.
Ann has graced the stage at a number of regional theaters and concert halls across the nation. She also performed in concert for a number of years with legendary composer Charles Strouse in venues ranging from the Broadway stage, Kleinman's Music Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, to The Dome Arena with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performed in concert throughout Japan, Australia, and Europe.
As a songwriter, Ann, at the age of 14 years old, was asked to write for Bobby Darin's music company in the famous Brill Building in New York City. As time went on, Ann became in demand for broadcasts across television and has written theme songs and source music for CBS's Guiding Light, ABC's One Life to Live, and NBC's Another World, among others. She also co-wrote with late husband and collaborator, Mitch Kerper, music for the CBS world premier movie “Indefensible: The Truth About Edward Brannigan”. They co-wrote and Ann performed "America" for the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration, which was covered by ABC-TV on Liberty Weekend, July 1986. They also co-wrote and Ann performed “Connie” at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for the legendary Connie Francis in recognition of her “Lifetime Achievement Award” in December of 2010, as well as “Thank You, Mr. Sedaka”, for the prestigious Neil Sedaka, who was also the recipient of the award in 2015.
As a singer, performer and songwriter, Ann Anello is a phenomenon. Major publications including The New York Times, have praised Ann as "A major talent; bright, positive and with a voice that is merely this side of marvelous." According to the famed critic Rex Reed (New York Observer)- "A bombshell who sings in Cinemascope, her voice can rise, soar and quiver with thrilling versatility. THIS GIRL IS GOING PLACES!"
Mitch Kerper experienced profound success as a professional Jazz pianist, composer, Broadway conductor, arranger, and author. Mitch was a graduate of New York University and the New York College of Music. According to New York NightLife, “Kerper, is a young, intense, and serious pianist, who is playing jazz, show tunes, and his own compositions in an often Baroque style, that commands listening.”
Mitch composed thematic music for such prominent network TV shows as NBC TV's "Another World", ABC TV's "One Life to Live", and the TV special, "Our Kids and the Best of Everything", which garnered him an Emmy nomination. He also wrote the theme for ABC TV's Monday Night Baseball (1978/1979), as well as numerous game shows such as "Issues and Answers", and "Beat the Clock", among others. As a musical director/conductor, he conducted the original Broadway company of "Hair", "Two Gentlemen of Verona", "But Never Jam Today", "Les Misérables", “Taking My Turn”, and the National Tour of "The Wiz". Additionally, he composed his own musical comedies, "Is The Real You, Really You" and "Verbena". He was also the World Tour musical director for the entire Royal Viking Cruise Line.
His performance credits include both written compositions as well as on stage performances in Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. He also appeared and recorded with a variety of prestigious artists, whom he was musical director for, such as The Manhattan Transfer, Kenny Rogers, Buddy Rich, Leslie Gore, Jon Lucien, Irene Cara, and others. He also recorded and released several of his own albums, the first of which was A Real Melody (CVR Records). Mitch was also a published author of musical books, such as: "Jazz Riffs for Piano" and his latest book, “Jazz Riffs for Piano II”.
To envision Kerper's professional accomplishments as a successful musical pianist, composer, arranger, author, and performer, it can be said that he lived an exceptionally brilliant life. However, Mitch Kerper suffered from a debilitating disease (Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome) that took his life in 2006.
Among the great jazz musicians of our century, He played with the legendary Chet Baker for many years. Through his music, Mitch shall live forever. Through his spirit and courage, his soul shall spring eternal.