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Olga Watkins Band to kick off OI entertainment season

September 13, 2012
Times Leader

WHEELING - Oglebay Institute will present a special concert featuring the Olga Watkins Band at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at Towngate Theatre in the Centre Market District of Wheeling.

The Olga Watkins Band, voted "Best Blues/Jazz Band or Performer 2010" in Pittsburgh by readers of the Pittsburgh City Paper, is based in Pittsburgh, PA and was formed in 2003 as a vehicle for vocalist Olga Watkins, a Wheeling native, to reenter the local music scene after a ten year hiatus.

Their music is not just jazz, and not just blues: The cover of their original CD "Long Time Coming" calls the band's music "original soul, blues and funk." The chemistry among band members and high-energy live performances have made the Olga Watkins band a favorite act at venues throughout the region from small clubs to large festivals.

Oglebay Institute will present a special concert featuring the National Pike Pickers at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling.

Former Short Crick Flatpickers, John Angius, Dave Visnic and Jeff Strautmann have performed together in the Wheeling area for more than 30 years. In 2011, the three joined with Jim Simpson, who has performed in several Philadelphia area bands and recently in the local favorite "The Cabin Fever String Band."

The Pickers bring a traditional bluegrass style mixed with a few surprises. Their fresh sets include songs by as diverse a group of writers and performers as the Bee Gees and John Prine, Flatt and Scruggs and Johnny Cash. Bill Cheatham, Big Scioty, The Orange Blossom Special and Ragtime Annie are represented in new arrangements, too.

Both shows are part of the series of several concerts being presented as part of Oglebay Institute's 2012-13 season of entertainment. The popular Jazz at the Stifel Series presents a series of six concerts from September March, featuring some of Pittsburgh's top jazz performers. Other concerts, featuring local favorites include:

For more information, visit or call 304-242-7700.



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