Strathmore vows to keep concerts going after Pike & Rose pulls plug on AMP

WTOP's Jason Fraley reports on the closing of AMP (Part 1)

Montgomery County is losing one of its classiest listening rooms for local music fans.

Hamilton Leithauser performs live at AMP by Strathmore. (Courtesy AMP)

The North Bethesda retail and dining complex Pike & Rose is pulling the plug on the AMP, the little sibling of the Strathmore Music Center located just a short drive away on Rockville Pike.

“We’ve held a lease at AMP at Pike & Rose since 2015,” Strathmore President and CEO Monica Jeffries Hazangeles told WTOP. “It really was an inventive and creative space and partnership with Federal Realty. We were notified recently that our space that we occupy with AMP, our lease on that space would not be renewed because a commercial tenant is in need of the space, they are moving their headquarters there.”

She says the AMP will be missed as a unique space to cultivate artists like Allison Miller before they can pack the larger Strathmore Music Hall, not to mention guest artists like Christian McBride looking for a more intimate vibe.

“It’s been a wonderful listening room, a space where audiences could really be up close and connected with the artists on stage. It’s really intimate,” Jeffries Hazangeles said. “It has also been a great place for Strathmore to nourish artists, help them develop new work, and help them build new audiences. It allowed us to take some risks that we can’t regularly take in a hall the size of the Concert Hall on our main campus.”

Remaining shows include roots rocker Ariel Posen (May 16), Artist in Residence Sneshesh Nag (May 22), bluegrass group Tray Wellington Band (June 4), R&B artist Kyshona (June 7), Artist in Residence Kaiyla Gross (June 12), tap dancer Michela Marino Lerman (June 13), indie rock family The Sidleys (June 14), the Arts & Social Justice Fellowship Student Showcase (June 22) and Veronneau’s tribute to Jodi Mitchell and Carole King (June 23).

Gross returns for the final show on June 26, while the venue officially closes on June 30.

After that, artists can either play the small music room at the Strathmore mansion or the large music hall.

“We are very aware of the role a venue like AMP plays in the ecosystem of the arts,” Jeffries Hazangeles said. “We are going to move some of those artists, like our Artists in Residence, back to the mansion and expand how we accommodate artists in the mansion through enhanced amenities with seating, lighting and sound. There are some artists getting to the level where they’re able to get beyond shows at AMP and we’ll work with them to build an audience and present them in the concert hall.”

A week after AMP closes, the Strathmore Music Hall welcomes Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti on May 31, followed by the Live From the Lawn series of outdoor concerts on the main campus in July.

See the final list of AMP shows here.

Find more info on Strathmore here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley reports on the closing of AMP (Part 2)

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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