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The DC Area Folk SOJO (Sing Out Jam Out) Pages

Check your inhibitions and fatigue at the door! Come ready to enthusiastically sing and/or play and help us raise the roof. We meet on the first and third Saturday of every month from 2:00 until 5:00 pm in Virginia Square, just outside of Washington, DC. The requested $4 contribution helps cover the room rental and Meetup fees. Our location is wheelchair/mobility-scooter accessible (contact the organizers ahead of time to arrange wheelchair access), restrooms are down the hall, and we're a very short distance from metro.

We're not all great singers (although many members are), and ability varies greatly. Same with the skill level of the instrumentalists. Some are beginners and others are quite seasoned. Not all participants know all the songs, either, but the important thing is we have a lot of fun. The informality is part of our charm. And the less experienced musicians and singers appreciate the opportunity to practice with other non-judgmental participants.

I, Rick, started this group back in March 2007. I had no idea at the time it would grow to its current size and be inhabited by the best folkies in the world, as it surely is. My gut tells me, as have other people, that it's the enthusiasm and talent of our members that has made SOJO one of the best sing/jam groups out there. And I thank them profusely. In March 2011, I handed the baton over to the rest of the leaderhip team as I headed south for warmer climes (specifically the Ft Lauderdale, Florida area), and started a similar group. The mirth and merriment we've come to know and love continues seamlessly in the hands of our more than capable coorganizers.

The people that are drawn to us tend to have a rich familiarity with traditional folk songs as well as those songs from the "Great Folk Scare" of the 1950s and '60s. Most of us are also fans of the folk rock and singer songwriter era from the '70s up to the present. Sometimes we do pop songs or rock songs. And hardly a week goes by that we don't sing a Beatles tune. Sea Shanties, Celtic and British folk are regularly represented.

Whatever the repertoire, we particularly welcome uninhibited singers, singers who like to harmonize and all manner of instrumentalists.

To get an even better taste of where we're at musically, click on "More" in the horizontal frame at the top of our homepage and then "files." We are fortunate to count dedicated archivists among our membership, and there you will find lists of all the songs we've done at most of our gatherings. You can also access the lists by clicking here:

Feel free to bring your acoustic instruments (no unmuted horns please)! The emphasis is on singing, but your instrument is a welcome accompaniment to the chorus of voices. We use the Rise Up Singing and the Rise Again songbooks as the source for most of our songs, but participants also bring lyrics to songs not found in the book and hand out copies. We don't do auditions and we want to hear your voice regardless!

Since these are singalongs based around the Rise Up Singing and Rise Again songbooks, participants ought to have their own copies. If you need to buy one, check,, eBay,,,,, etc.

We go around the circle and take turns selecting a song for the group to sing and play. Each participant also has the option of going solo, leading an alternate version of a song, or passing altogether. But if you know the song, we want to hear you sing it!

We're all about enjoying the camaraderie that comes with singing and playing music with enthusiastic like-minded people in a friendly, welcoming environment!

The requisite "Who Should Not Join" Department:

1. People who come to nap, text, do their nails or otherwise refrain from participating for whatever reason. There was a time when we welcomed spectators, but our growth no longer makes it practical to accommodate them while maintaining our musical integrity. Rather than cramming a large number of people in our limited space, SOJO's">SOJO's goal is to make the singers and players as comfortable as possible. But if you'd like to bring an occasional guest who just wants to listen, that's fine. (Note: Nobody is expected to sing and/or play along to *every* song.)

2. People who have no intention of ever attending our events because they do not live in the greater Washington, DC area.

3. People who are only looking for people to date. This is not a dating service. Our purpose is to sing and play music. Nonetheless, if people hit it off in the course of events and eventually date, we're happy for them and wish them all the best.

4. People who are only looking to promote their business products and/or services on our site.


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About The DC Area Folk SOJO (Sing Out Jam Out) January 3, 2016 4:47 PM Margi

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