Live Music in DC: Sundown at SOVA

On H St. NE in Washington DC, there is a magical cafe named SOVA Espresso and Wine.  The owner thinks creatively, the staff dances on the bar, the patrons are loyal and good music fills the air.

For a few years now, it’s been my pleasure to host a multi-artist showcase at SOVA called Sundown at SOVA with the tagline The Best Listeners, The Happiest Hours.

The evening ranges from 3 songwriters to 6; sometimes including a comedian, spoken word artist or poet.  The music spans all genres: jazz, pop, blues, blue grass, rap, reggae, soul, ect.  But the think that is consistant is great listeners and happy hours!

As of Jan 2012, Sundown at SOVA happens on the 2nd Friday of every month.  I (Tiffany Thompson) book the showcase often only a month or two out in order to create opportunity to constantly bring in new artists.  I love it when an out-of-town artist joins the ranks and brings a fresh sound.  Sundown at SOVA has hosted songwriters from Portland, Connecticut, NYC, Nashville, Pittsburg, and more.

Still trying to envision the night, I had a friend create the video below to give you an inside look! You can also check out this video from a performer. Or this video gives a really great feel for the room too.

Bottom Line:  You should come check out Sundown at SOVA! And here is everything you need to know:



Show runs 9 pm – 12 am every 2nd Friday of the month.  It’s hosted by me (Tiffany Thompson); so be sure to check my calendar to confirm we are on.  There is no cover, but it’s really nice if you put 2-5$ in the tip jar, cause that is how the artists put gas in their car.  And it’s just nice.

Though it’s ok to chat quietly with your friends — generally, the show is a listening room space so the artists can share their stories and heart with you.  Come for 10 minutes – stay 3 hours.  Whatever works for you —we just want you to share songs with you!


If you want to play – email me via the contact form.

If you are scheduled, here is the plan:

  • All ages, but the coffee bar closes at 10 pm
  • I provide the fully equipped PA and if requested, a fully-weighted keyboard. (2 vocal mics, two DIs, 1/4 in. chords)
  • Show up around 8:15 pm.
  • Have two 20 minute sets (3-4 songs) planned.  You might play 6 or 8 depending on how many artists there are that night.
  • I normally decide on performance order that night — but if you need a specific time – email me prior to the show and ask.  We can nail it down then.  It’s your show; I want it to work best for you and your friends.
  • To keep the audience engaged, feel free to tell stories, sell merch, bring other musicians.  Just keep in mind the space is not too big — so anything larger than a trio is normally to complicated and just tough to facilitate.
  • Please promote the show.  There is some built in draw at SOVA on Fridays, but not a ton of listeners.  So tell your friends about your show, maybe even create a Facebook invite.  Also – the more friends, the more tips, the more money.
  • Money:  There is no cover, just a tip jar.  My hope is everyone gets 20$+ and each act gets two free drinks. If you don’t nee the money at all, you can leave it in the pot for the poorer artists to split. 😉
  • Parking — it’s a pain. But there is valet out front for 10$ if you wan to do it.
  • If you have additional questions, please post a comment below.  Everyone can benefit that way. 😉