By PAM HARBAUGH
I adored Heidi.
She was feisty, loving, enthusiastic and encouraging. She, along with her husband, Eddie, ran the Heidelberg Restaurant and the adjacent Heidi’s Jazz Club. She was a solid member of the community, giving back more than she received. Always eager to bring good music and food tied up with impeccable service. She knew how things should be done and expected others to be as passionate as she was when it came to doing things right.
Heidi passed away early this morning, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. She was 79 years old. Heidi’s determination and grit kept her going for more than three years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Until recently, you’d see her, oxygen tube and all, at the jazz club, making sure everything was running just so.
No question, Heidi brought sophistication to area. In fact, the jazz club continues to be the sweet spot when it comes to that. She would frequently call me or send an email about some of the jazz musicians coming to Heidi’s Jazz Club.
“Pam, we are having the sensational (fill in the blank),” she would say in her Austrian accent. “He/she is remarkable. Do you know how special this is to have him/her come to Brevard? People need to know about this.”
That doesn’t surprise Eddie. He knows how enthusiastic his wife of 38 years could be.
“She was a fighter,” he said. “She had a tremendous amount of love and youthful energy…And she had a good heart. She gave back to the community. She helped the homeless and got one homeless guy a hotel room for Christmas.“
She also nurtured unknown musicians like Simone Kopmajer. After hearing about Simone, Heidi flew to Austria and met with Simone, who was 17 years old at the time. They sat at the airport and Heidi invited her to come perform at Heidi’s Jazz Club. It helped catapult Simone’s career.
Simone wrote this in a Facebook post on Heidi’s page: “Today I lost my dear friend, family member, mentor and biggest supporter & inspiration! I‘m sooo sad about her loss ! She helped me grow in the music world and always believed in me.”
Heidi also championed young musicians from our own area, such as Mason Margut and Ethan Bailey Gould.
She brought in big names like Tommy Flanagan, Boots Randolph, Sally Hart, Freddy Cole, Jesse Jones, Jr., Terry Myers and Richie Cole. Heidi’s is the home for the sensational Ron Teixeira Trio.
In 2012, Downbeat Magazine put Heidi’s Jazz Club on its list of the world’s top jazz venues. In a letter to co-owner Heidi Deleuil, the publisher for Downbeat stated “This list represents a comprehensive look at where great jazz and improvised music is played globally.”
Eddie wants people to know that while Heidi started her Brevard career by cleaning windows and floors for the previous owners of the Heidelberg Restaurant, her experience in Austria was much more noteworthy and substantive.
“She served kings and queens,” he said. “She worked at five star restaurants where she learned skills you cannot fathom.”
Eddie was by her side holding her hand when passed away early Sunday morning, Jan. 19, 2020. She was 79.
We’ll be sure to let you know of any services or special gatherings for Heidi.