Presenting and Supporting Folk & Acoustic Music
in the Washington, DC Area

Upcoming Shows

    • Sunday, September 15, 2019
    • 7:00 PM
    • George Washington Masonic Memorial 101 Callahan Drive Alexandria, VA 22301
    Register

    Al & Amy are celebrating 25 years of  music-making. They have long been DC-area favorites, with their eclectic acoustic repertoire that includes original, traditional, contemporary Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced music with occasional nods to Blues, New Age, and Jazz - all played on a variety of stringed and percussive instruments. The duo moved to the top of a mountain in western North Carolina nearly two decades ago. Al was “Guitar Week” coordinator of the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC for the last 23 years. The natural beauty and traditional music of the Asheville-area have influenced Al & Amy’s work in myriad, magical ways. They enjoy returning to the DC area at least once or twice a year to share their new creations. 

     Al & Amy’s music has been a regular feature in Ken Burns’ documentary films, most notably the soundtrack for the Ken Burns EMMY-winning documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” They have won a long list of awards including a Grammy, an Indie award, several Maryland State Arts Council Awards, and fifty Washington Area Music Awards. Their photography is represented by the National Geographic Society’s Image Collection, and Amy’s many wildlife videos from their mountain are available online, as well. Al and Amy are currently working on their 23rd album, and Al is working on his 7th instructional video.

    Global citizen and folk singer Eli Lev is making the world a smaller place, one song at a time. Eli pens hymns for everyday enlightenment-songs that resonate because they're heartfelt, earthy and offer wisdom culled from self-discovery. Eli has built a robust profile through wowing audiences each time he picks up a guitar.

    • Saturday, October 12, 2019
    • 7:30 PM
    • Community Lutheran Church of Sterling 21014 Whitfield Place Sterling, VA 20165
    Register
    Called Canada’s finest singer-songwriter by Dave Marsh, the award-winning American music critic and historian, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons. As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity. Fusing his insatiable appetite for finding the next unique story line Keelaghan also forges his pieces with brilliantly defined craftsmanship and a monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices of not only the Canadian scene, but as a member of the international singer-songwriter community.  ¨His masterful story telling, over the course of nine recordings, has been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan his share of nominations and awards, and acclaim from Australia to Scandinavia.  


    • Sunday, October 13, 2019
    • 7:00 PM
    • Island Pride Oasis, 617 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
    Register
    Called Canada’s finest singer-songwriter by Dave Marsh, the award-winning American music critic and historian, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons. As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity. Fusing his insatiable appetite for finding the next unique story line Keelaghan also forges his pieces with brilliantly defined craftsmanship and a monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices of not only the Canadian scene, but as a member of the international singer-songwriter community.  ¨His masterful story telling, over the course of nine recordings, has been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan his share of nominations and awards, and acclaim from Australia to Scandinavia. 


    • Sunday, October 27, 2019
    • 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Tikvat Israel Congregation | 2200 Baltimore Road | Rockville, MD 20851
    Register


    Gathering Time, a Long Island folk-rock trio, re-creates the music of some of the greatest Jewish musicians of the rock era

    While the mainstream Jewish community has been justifiably proud of the musical contributions of such luminary composers as George & Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and the many great cantorial composers and soloists, there are many many Jewish musical songwriters and performers of the rock 'n' roll era – such as Bob Dylan, Carole King, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Arlo Guthrie, songwriters Lieber & Stoller and Laura Nyro, and even Billy Joel and Steely Dan.

    Gathering Time faithfully re-creates the iconic songs of these songwriters and musicians plus many more, in a show that will have you singing along and reliving the good times from your younger days.

    Gathering Time is like a high-energy Peter, Paul & Mary or a co-ed Crosby, Stills & Nash, with a bit of The Byrds and a jot of Joni Mitchell; a head-turning folk-rock harmony trio described recently as "getting a whole beehive-full of buzz" on the northeast regional folk scene.

    • Saturday, November 02, 2019
    • 7:30 PM
    • Community Lutheran Church of Sterling 21014 Whitfield Place Sterling, VA 20165
    Register

    Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist with an unorthodox, modern style of playing. Her music has been called some of the most imaginative guitar music out today. She uses various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping in her music to great effect. She has won various local talent shows, was a finalist in the Rolling Stones Young Gun guitar competition, was the Grand prize winner of New York University's Ultra Violet Live talent show, and was recently featured on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday show.  She graduated from New York University with a BM in Music Theory and Composition in December 2017. Her first album, Unwind, was released on May 4, 2018 and  charted at #15 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

    Jesse Palidofsky, appearing with Seth Kibel, has performed his original songs at the National Theatre, at the Washington Folk Festival and on the sloop Clearwater with Pete Seeger, and he has played blues piano at the Smithsonian National Folklife Festival and the Kennedy Center. His “I Am An Immigrant” was the #1 song on the international Folk Radio DJ charts in November, and Jesse was the #4 overall artist on the Folk Radio charts in December–and “Dancing Toward the Light” was the #5 CD ! Jesse has also won numerous awards in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest.

    Jesse has shared stages with folk luminaries including Pete Seeger, Bob Franke, Anne Hills, Brother Sun, the Ronstadt Family Band, SONIA, Kim and Reggie Harris, Ken Whiteley & the Beulah Band, Erica Wheeler and Magpie.  He is currently Artistic Director for the highly successful Carroll Cafe folk/roots series in Washington, D.C

    • Saturday, November 09, 2019
    • 7:00 PM
    • St. Aidan's Episcopal Church 8531 Riverside Road Alexandria, VA 22308
    Register

    Rose  Baldino and Brian  Buchanan are accomplished  traditional fiddle  players and  classical violinists,  with over 25 years  of writing and  performance  experience between them. Together, they write unusual new fiddle tunes and exciting, unpredictable original songs while breathing new life into traditional and contemporary songs. Both are confident and unique lead vocalists, and the blend of their two voices in harmony is hypnotic and irresistible.

    Whether House of Hamill is playing songs from their debut album "Wide Awake" (2016) or stomping through a set of original jigs and reels from their follow-up "March Through Storms" (2018), their chemistry onstage is always engaging and often hilarious. In the summer of 2018, their quirky all-violin cover of "Sweet Child Of Mine" went viral, amassing over 15 million views and more than 400,000 shares on Facebook in just a few weeks, and was picked up by publications all over the world.

    House of Hamill is on the bleeding edge of a new generation of traditional musicians.

    Accomplished local players Chris Lindsay and Andrew Dodds will open the evening.


    • Sunday, November 17, 2019
    • 7:00 PM
    • George Washington Masonic Memorial 101 Callahan Drive Alexandria, VA 22301
    Register

    Reverend Robert Jones, Sr. is an inspirational singer, songwriter, storyteller and self-taught award-winning multi-instrumentalist. He plays guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle using folk, blues, spirituals and other American Roots music to champion the history, beauty and power of our shared culture.

    A lifelong Detroiter, Rev. Jones has been performing professionally for nearly 30 years throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has entertained and educated audiences of all ages in schools, colleges, libraries, union halls, prisons, churches and civil rights organizations. His deep love for traditional African American and American music is shared in live performances that interweave timeless stories with original and traditional songs. At the heart of his message is the belief that our cultural diversity tells a story that should celebrate, not just tolerate.

    Michael Kelly is a musician who draws on influences ranging from Lyle Lovett to Taj Mahal, Louis Armstrong to Doc Watson and a writer whose finely crafted stories are woven over foot tapping melodies. Folk, bluegrass, old time and blues are the foundations of the music.



    • Sunday, November 24, 2019
    • 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Tikvat Israel Congregation | 2200 Baltimore Road | Rockville, MD 20851
    Register

    Critically-acclaimed artist Meghan Cary didn’t mean to be a musician. But when her fiancé unexpectedly died, she picked up his guitar, figured out how to play it, and wrote her debut, earning her Billboard Magazine’s esteemed Critic’s Choice Award. Her latest album, SING LOUDER, debuted in the top 10 on the US/International Folk DJ Chart, and John Platt of WFUV extols, "These times require songs of compassion and commitment, and Meghan has several which inspire us to reach our higher selves. And she sings them with such infectious joy you can’t resist joining in."

    With masterful storytelling and award-winning songs, Cary engages audiences on a powerfully personal level, inviting them into and leading them through an experience that has been called healing, inspiring and outrageously joyful. Her message of unity and the power of raising our voices together infuses every show, and her song, “Sing Louder”, has become an anthem for the music-loving community.


See a list of past Focus concerts here.


Monday Open Mic Showcases hosted by Rob Hinkal


Focus sponsors the Teavolve Open Mic every Monday evening with host rob of the band ilyAIMY and we are honored to have a weekly helping of some of the best local and traveling singer/songwriters, musicians, poets and random whathaveyous all in one spot.

We have a featured artist somewhere in the middle of the night (LIKE the Facebook page for constantly updated listings) for whom we pass a tip pitcher (please be generous) but otherwise the show is free. The drinks are great and the food's even better. The night is videoed and recorded and archived on YouTube.

More information here and here

Monday Showcases

© 2002 - 2019 FOCUS MUSIC

Focus Music is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.  P.O. Box 4249, Rockville, MD 20849-4249

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