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What's Up Magazine

Music and Performing Arts Picks

Feb 05, 2015 04:00PM ● By Melissa Lauren
by: Melissa Lauren

We are so lucky to live in this area full of fantastic music and performing arts venues that feature a wealth of wonderful artists; in Annapolis, on The Eastern Shore, in Baltimore, and the D. C. area. Following are my must-see music and performing arts picks for this weekend.

Pressing Strings is a local favorite, featuring a trio of musicians with a rootsy, funky, and melodic style. They play at Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis tonight and every Thursday at 10 p.m. Pressing Strings will blow you away! Lead singer, Jordan Sokel’s mellow round full voice travels like an acrobat doing back flips, hitting all kinds of notes with ease. His soulful voice has an expansive range that captivates the audience and compliments his skilled guitar playing. Nick Welker on bass brings funky melodic lines to their songs that really groove. Drummer Brandon Bartlett makes smart choices, playing sophisticated rhythms providing a strong counterpoint to the bass lines. You won’t be disappointed. Pressing Strings is not your average bar band. Go see them tonight so you can proudly say you knew them back then before they got famous.
On the Eastern Shore this Friday think pink and rock out all for a good cause at Concert for the Cure, featuring the Paul Reed Smith Band at The Avalon Theatre in Easton! Combining elements of funk, rock, hip hop, jazz, gospel, and a host of other genres, it’s impossible for any music lover not to enjoy the band’s self described “Chesapeake gumbo” sound. The event benefits Susan G. Komen Maryland. An evening of great music to support those whose lives are affected by breast cancer. The pre-concert reception includes a chance to meet and mingle with the band and to participate in the live auction of a signed PRS SE Custom 24 guitar! Pre-concert ticket holders also receive reserved premium seating for the show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; show at 8 p.m. (Pre-concert reception begins at 6 p.m.) Tickets are available in advance online at, over the phone (410-822-7299), or, if you're in the area, you can swing by the Avalon Theatre box office. And, if you forget to purchase them beforehand, you can still pick them up at the door. General admission tickets are $40; VIP tickets are $75. All proceeds from the evening benefit Susan G. Komen Maryland and its community grant programs, which provide access to screenings, treatments, clinical trials, and support services. And while there is no specific monetary goal, the nonprofit organization would love to boast a "sold out" event!

Big thanks this week to contributing editor, Becca Newell, What’s Up? Social and Style Editor! Check out more charitable events covered by Becca in the Towne Social section in our print publications and online at

On Friday at The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club they will be celebrating everything Buddy Holly at the 14th Annual Buddy Holly Tribute Show. Buddy Holly has been a huge influence on musicians of his time and beyond with such quintessential songs as “Everyday”, “Peggy Sue”, and “Rave On”. Ten phenomenal bands will cover those tunes and many others by the rock and roll legend. An all-star tribute on the 56th Anniversary of the fateful Winter Dance Party plane crash, will also feature the music of Buddy Holly’s fellow tour stars Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Performers include; David Kitchen, the Flea Bops, the Rock-A-Sonics, Honky Tonk Confidential, Ruthie and the Wranglers, Jelly Roll Mortals, Cal Everett, Ron Scott, Dagmar and Bob, Jason Hicks and emceed by British radio host and music writer Colin Davies. Tickets are just $20 and the fun and dancing starts at 8 p.m.
Without a doubt, the most famous ballet, Swan Lake will be performed at The Hippodrome Theatre this Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) in Baltimore. The State Ballet Theatre of Russia, which was founded by legendary dancer and former Prima ballerina of The Bolshoi Theatre Ballet, Maya Plissetskaya , presents this full-scale production now under the direction of award-winning dancer and Moiseyev soloist, Nikolay Anokhin. This beautiful ballet set to the music of Tchaikovsky and based on Russian folklore and German legend, follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the sweet swan maiden from an evil spell. The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents 50 of Russia’s brightest ballet stars to bring this romantic tale of true love to glorious life!