About Us

A night at Carroll Cafe is like a night of fine music in the Village or watching a gripping play at the theater. The venue is warm and welcoming, with wonderful acoustics, and the musicians are stellar and seasoned performers who have toured regionally, nationally, and even internationally on the folk and roots music circuit.

Magpie and Kim and Reggie Harris in concert at Carroll CafeAn intimate venue like the Carroll Cafe melts the boundaries even further, creating a community that is centered upon the magic that happens when deep, respectful listening takes place.  As Cameroonian dancer Paul Kengmo says, “In my country, there is no such thing as an audience and a performer.”  At Carroll Cafe the music will be top-notch, whether the act is familiar to you or not; the sound will be great, the price is right, and the baked goods and coffee will warm you inside and out.

How We Started

Janie Meneely, long-time manager of the 333 Coffeehouse in Annapolis; Jesse Palidofsky, who ran a successful coffeehouse in Detroit; and Glen Yakushiji, a skilled sound engineer, got together in the fall of 2009 to talk about creating a folk music venue for Takoma Park. They wondered why Takoma Park, a community that supports a folk music instrument store, and a well-respected annual folk festival, did not have a regular place to hear folk music. They wanted to make a place where folk musicians would feel welcome to present their best work (and be fairly compensated), and audiences could trust they would hear great music month after month.

Seekers Church has a strong commitment to the arts and to the artists who create it. Beginning in 1999 the church renovated the empty shell of a storefront near the Takoma metro station and built a well-appointed performance space with new sound and lighting equipment. Their foresight resulted in the perfect place for Carroll Cafe to present wonderful folk and roots music to the Takoma Park community.

We hope you will visit us on a second Friday to hear, see, and share (very nice and affordable snacks are available at every show), and possibly be educated and inspired with everything Carroll Cafe has to offer.

Our Call

We believe:

  • that music is a gift that brings a deeper understanding and experience of the Creator and ourselves in a way different from any other discipline;
  • that music is a gift for everyone, and everyone’s own music can be good and useful;
  • that music from other places, cultures, and times can be important for everyone to bring us to mutual understanding.
  • that music can promote cooperation, compassion, empathy, and friendship amongst all people.
  • that roots music is a living tradition that grows out of the relationships between an artist and an audience.

We are called:

  • to offer excellent music to the community at the nexus of Takoma Park, Montgomery County, and the Greater DC area for education, inspiration, enlightenment, and joy so everyone can receive the gifts that music offers.
  • to provide a venue for musicians to present their music and thoughts; where they can be paid a fair wage for their skill and dedication.
  • to help visitors learn more about, and experience the hospitality of, Seekers Church.
  • to use music to create a world of equality, fellowship, and justice.

The Second Fridays Coffeehouse