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

Upcoming Shows

    • Wednesday, October 30, 2019
    • Sunday, December 01, 2019
    Register
    Focus Music is honoring Scott Moore for his decades of devotion to the folk music community as the first recipient of the Vic Heyman Award! The award has been established to recognize extraordinary contribution to the local folk and acoustic music scene.Scott has put his stamp on so many areas.  His efforts have contributed to the Takoma Park Folk Festival, NERFA and of course Focus.  Hundreds of performers have played at house concerts he presented and  many artists have benefited from his helping hand. 

    Here is a chance to send Scott your congratulations in a "shout out"  in the concert's program.  A one line, 50 word message is $10.  If you have more to say or want to include a photo or logo, consider a business card size greeting for $50.  This is not a fund raising event; proceeds from the program will be used to help to offset expenses for the event such as artist support, including meals and travel.  


    • 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.


    • Saturday, December 07, 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Positano's Restaurant 4948 Fairmount Avenue Bethesda, MD 20814
    • 23
    Register

    Focus Music is honoring Scott Moore for his decades of devotion to the folk music community as the first recipient of the Vic Heyman Award! The award has been established to recognize extraordinary contribution to the local folk and acoustic music sceneScott has put his stamp on so many areas.  His efforts have contributed to the Takoma Park Folk Festival, NERFA and of course Focus.  Hundreds of performers have played at house concerts he presented and  many artists have benefited from his helping hand.

    A number of artists will perform, including Jerry Bresee, Tony Denikos, Cletus Kennelly, Kipyn Martin, Andrew McKnight, Lea Morris, Allison Shapira and Brad Yoder

    Registration pays for the cost of your buffet dinner. This is not a fundraising event.

    • Sunday, December 22, 2019
    • 7:00 PM
    • Island Pride Oasis Restaurant 617 S Frederick Avenue Gaithersburg, MD 20877
    Register

    This bi-coastal duo of Elaine Dempsey & Karl Werne, from California and Virginia, bring diverse backgrounds of experience & music together to form a rich, soulful blend of character and deep harmony. It will move you to an understanding of their name: BiG WiDE GRiN.

    They are constantly on the move- whether at festivals, concert series, shows, or select house concerts and have shared the stage, collectively, with such artists as Janis Ian, Harriett Schock, Lowen & Navarro, Richie Havens, Bruce Hornsby and toured with legendary blues man Keb’ Mo’.

    Their most recent seasonal CD, "Holiday" features a wide variety of world class arrangers and studio musicians from both coasts, proving to be the most diverse self-produced musical endeavor from this group so far. Guest artists include ODU Jazz Professor John Toomey, former Kool and the Gang bassist, Dana Silvercloud and Dan Martier from Tim Reynolds’ TR3.

    BWG’s "Live" release is a collection of original and cover material that have become trademark favorites of their live performances from the likes of Steve Earle and Tracy Chapman to Sly & The Family Stone.

    Their debut CD, "Live Simple, Breathe Deep" (released under previous group name: "E.L.K.") was produced by Clayton Gibb (Keb’ Mo’ band) and features Mark Andes (Spirit, Canned Heat), Rob Hooper (Jimmie Dale Gilmore), Cha Cha Friedken (Keb’ Mo’ band) and Eddie Williams.


    • Saturday, March 14, 2020
    • 7:00 PM
    • St. Aidan's Episcopal Church 8531 Riverside Road Alexandria, VA 22308
    Register
    Anne Hills is one of the most beloved voices of the contemporary folk music scene, receiving awards and recognition for her live performances, her unique solo and collaborative recording projects, and her overall artistry and benefit work. Her song "Follow that Road" was the title cut of the Martha's Vineyard Songwriter Retreat and has been a certified folk classic since the late 1990s. Whether she is singing her own songs, the words of six-year-old Opal Whitely, or her song settings of the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley; accompanied with her guitar, banjo, or simply a Tibetan bell, she puts her whole heart and soul into the moment. You won’t want to miss a chance to hear her songs and stories in person. She tours extensively, winning over audiences with her warm, lively and humorous performances. 
    • Saturday, March 28, 2020
    • 7:30 PM
    • Community Lutheran Church of Sterling 21014 Whitfield Place Sterling, VA 20165
    Register

    A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Alberta's Scott Cook has distilled the stories collected over twelve years touring full-time across Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere into straight-talking, keenly observant verse.  

    His fourth DIY release, One More Time Around, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track "Pass It Along" won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him "one of Canada's most inspiring and imaginative storytellers". In 2017 he released his sixth studio album, Further Down the Line, which earned him a second Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for English Songwriter of the Year. 

    He's currently touring in support of his 2020 album Tangle of Souls, which comes packaged in a hardcover book of road stories and ruminations.  Cook is one of the hardest-working troubadours on the road today, averaging over 150 shows and a dozen festivals every year since 2007.  All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.

    • Saturday, May 09, 2020
    • 7:00 PM
    • St. Aidan's Episcopal Church 8531 Riverside Road Alexandria, VA 22308
    Register

    Joe Jencks is an international touring musician, award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist known for his performances of musical beauty, social consciousness and spiritual exploration. A 20-year veteran of the international Folk circuit, Jencks has released 15 CDs in that time. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.

    Joe’s most recent solo CD – The Forgotten: Recovered Treasures From The Pen of Si Kahn - contains 14 previously unrecorded songs from American Folk legend, Si Kahn. Joe recorded the CD in Canada, with famed producer Ken Whiteley, and the collection of songs represents a return to Joe’s more traditional Folk roots in both theme and musical styles. Celebrating the lost legends of hard working people from New England textile mills to Appalachian coal mining towns, from the Civil Rights movement to forgotten industrial towns in the Midwest. The Forgotten shines a welcome light on the lives of people whose experiences still need to be told and remembered.

    Blend a powerful, passionate singer, a crisp, acoustic guitar player and a warm heart and you will have, singer-songwriter, Lynn Hollyfield. From great jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday to the Beatles, Cream and CSNY, Hollyfield launched into her own songwriting infusing these influences to create a diverse repertoire of contemporary folk, pop, blues and jazz.

    • Saturday, May 16, 2020
    • 7:30 PM
    • Community Lutheran Church of Sterling 21014 Whitfield Place Sterling, VA 20165
    Register

    Scott Ainslie is a traditional acoustic Blues singer, guitarist, historian and songwriter with personal roots in the Civil Rights era and a great affection for cross-cultural exchange. 

    Ainslie has received numerous awards and grants to acknowledge and support his work in documenting and presenting traditional music including support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, The Independent Weekly community artist award and the 21st Annual Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award from St. Andrew’s College in Laurinburg, NC. 

    As a traditional musician with expertise in both Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, and East Coast and Delta Blues, Ainslie has specialized in performing roots music and presenting programs on the African roots of American music and culture in community and educational settings since he joined the prestigious North Carolina Visiting Artist Program and took his first artist-in-residence position in a racially segregated community in eastern North Carolina in 1986.

    Ainslie has spent decades looking for the right story, the right set of facts, the right bit of history to introduce a song, a personality, a moment in history to give a song a chance to awake and breathe among us. Along the way, he has developed expertise in the many African retentions–musical and cultural–that remain active in our culture today.

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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