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What's Up Magazine

Jayme Ploff, 29, Rising-Star Musician

Jan 06, 2011 01:03AM ● By Anonymous

We often hear of personal success inspired by “aha” moments, but Jayme Ploff’s was more like “ahaaaaaa”—she sang her final note, and lengthy applause followed. When Ploff was in the sixth grade, she recruited two friends to sing a song with her—a capella!—in the school’s annual talent show. Her friends chickened out but she didn’t, and the rest is history. “The audience was so surprised, and impressed!” she enthuses. “I knew right then that I had to spend my life singing.” After studying jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami and earning her music degree, Ploff returned home to Maryland and settled on the Eastern Shore. Here, she has built a loyal fan base that’s eager to see her perform at such venues as Easton’s NightCat and Coffee East, and the Market Street Public House in Denton—whether it’s her solo acoustic folk and jazz show, or with the jazz group Minus One, or with 410 (pronounced “four ten”), the band she recently started. Speaking of which, Ploff says, “We all come from a jazz background and play a range of music, from blues to Pat Benatar to John Mayer to Gnarls Barkley–something for everyone!” Of course, proof of her potential is in the music—you simply must listen for yourself. Her original compositions include lilting acoustic rockers and introspective, piano-driven jazz ballads, and everything in between. Her voice has an enormous range, one that any American Idol hopeful would dream for; and she has guitar and piano chops, to boot! “Music is the greatest form of expression and is something that all people can relate to,” says Ploff. “I love being able to share my music with other people…[it’s] also incredibly cathartic.” Though her talent yet to be discovered by major record labels, her grass-roots following is thriving. Music on her Myspace artist page ( is approaching a thousand “listens” per track, and her live performances bring in growing crowds. “[The year] 2010 was such a wonderful year for me on all levels, and I want to spend 2011 keeping the momentum going,” she says. “I’ve written some great new songs and I’m planning to expand 410’s reach beyond the Eastern Shore—to Annapolis, Baltimore, D.C., and even down to the beaches.” Ploff, who has both Celiac and Lyme disease, says that her health has been her hardest challenge but adds that music is her “happy, fun time”—and it could very well become a full-time musical career. “I read somewhere that things turn out the best for the people who make the best of how things turn out,” she says. “That’s really how I try to live my life; something positive can always come out of something negative.”

- James Houck