Twin Town Strings debut recording!

I'm excited to release this great new recording: Twin Town Strings "On the Way".
Twin Town Strings is Pete Hennig banjo and myself guitar. It's a big departure for me musically and I'm proud of this recording.

TTS has been performing weekly for over five years at the JS BEAN FACTORY in St. Paul. We've managed to build a nice following there for our regular Friday lunch hour gig! We've als performed around town at The Dubliner (back Thurs. March 30th), Waldmann Brewery, Elm Creek Brewery, Montgomery Brewery, and some fun outdoor park events in the Twin Cities. You can order this recording by emailing me: Cost is $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping in the US. Look for us to be upping our performance game.

Our official CD release is Weds. April 12t at the 331 Club in NE Mpls. We're being interviewed by Hurricane Harold Tremblay first at 90.3FM - KFAI studios, then we head over to the 331 for the show. Gonna be high energy and a super fun event!

March 5, 2023, 10:12 p.m.

Twin Town Strings debut at Carbone's Mpls

Carbone's Pizza Minneapolis
May 19, 2021, 7 p.m.

May 17, 2021, 1:36 p.m.

"Triple Bridge" out very soon!

My new recording "Triple Bridge" is scheduled to be released soon. I'm extremely pleased with how this project turned out. It showcases what I consider the widest variety of my musical influences, with bluegrass being a standout recent addition. Tracks include solo archtop electric jazz guitar, steel string acoustic/bluegrass guitar, classical nylon string guitar, and one track features a duo with Pete Hennig on banjo. You can pre-order for mailing now. Please email me at, CD's are $14.00 (includes shipping in USA).

May 17, 2021, 1:06 p.m.

New Recording out soon!

~~NEW RECORDING ALERT~~ Look for my new solo guitar recording "Triple Bridge" due out June 1st. It's an all originals project, featuring nine of my compositions. I'm extremely excited to present and share this music! CD's will be available for mail order.

April 21, 2021, 12:18 a.m.

2020 - NEW BLOG

Boy it's been a long time. And it's been a very difficult time. Over three months with the pandemic, all gigs cancelled bar my online church gig (thankfully!} Briefly - 'Butterfly Wings' with grand jazz vocalist Charmin Michelle has been out for about one month. I consider it my finest collaborative work with her, and amonst my best recordings ever. Also a new guitar duo record on Unseen Rain NYC - 'So Many Roads w/Jack DeSalvo. A very inspired session that I'm extremely proud of. The Nooners w/Pete Hennig banjo, is now "Twin Town Strings. AS outdoor gigs return, we have a few on the books. It's a great high energy duo, please look for us at Waldmann's Brewing and JS Bean Factory, both in St. Paul MN. Hope YOU are OK and surviving the decidedly hard and sad time. We'll get through, and music leads the way. All my best - Joel Shapira

June 18, 2020, 1:12 a.m.

Two new releases

'Cydonia' on Woodshedd records, has been out for a few weeks. It's has some compelling and spirited music on it, and is a great showcase for all memebers of the Qt. Jack DeSalvo guitar, Mark Hagan bass, Tom Cabrera drums, myself on guitar. There's some of Jack's originals and IMO are some of the very best material on this record. Coming soon on Unseen Rain Records: "So Many Roads", guitar duets with Jack DeSalvo and myself, as well as a solo Wayne Shorter piece by yours truly. I can't tell you how excited I am about this recording. After recently hearing the mastered files, I would consider this some of the finest recorded playing I've ever done, and the interplay between Jack and myself is deeply honed. has Cydonia up and will have 'So Many Roads" up in early September. I'm blessed to have this life in jazz and music. I never take it for granted.

Aug. 20, 2019, 12:20 a.m.

New Release - 'Cydonia' on Woodshedd Records.

This quartet recording was made at Woodshedd studios in Long Island NY, February 2019. Features Jack DeSalvo on guitar, Mark Hagan bass, Tom Cabrera drums, along with myself on guitar. Jack's tunes are beautiful, and it's always a fun challenge to walk in and read them down, and record them on sight! I think the originals on the record are some of the very best material. Great listening and interplay, great solos by all.
Every time we record together it's more cohesive, and I love my trips out to NYC to do this, and see old friends.
Also, look for my new Unseen Rain Records release soon. It's a guitar duo recording with Jack DeSalvo done at Bean Studios in NJ. I'm very excited to present both of these recordings.

July 11, 2019, 6:06 p.m.

Spring 2019 News

There's been so much happening career-wise: Upcoming recordings to be released: Duo project with NYC guitar virtuoso Jack DeSalvo on Unseen Rain Records, Westbury Converge Jazz Qt. recording on WoodShedd Records, The Nooners first recording is done and Pete Hennig and I will be releasing it soon, as well as our weekly Friday gig at JS Bean Factory St. Paul Noon-2pm. New duo project with vocalist supreme Charmin Michelle in the works, and possible guitar/piano recording with Larry McDonough -Bill Evans/Jim Hall tribute.

All these projects mean a tremendous amount to me and they reflect a period in my career that has been the busiest, most varied, and most enjoyable I have known. I keep company with so many great musicians on a regular basis, I'm delighted and grateful for such opportunities.

Other projects: 'Serious Pocket Groovers', as the name implies, this trio grooves hard. Funky, rocking, swinging and we have a regular gig at World of Beer St. Paul. 'Fourplex' is a new creative qt with a cool line up of players, and great repertoire. Trio 280 still working up material and we have a Black Dog gig in August.

MSP gave me an award recently. The organization at MSP is SO supportive of their musicians. The staff is the best, and It is extraordinary to be treated with such high regard, and acknowledged for your musicianship. One of my favorite gigs ever is my weekly solo guitar performance at MSP airport.

More to come. Your friend - Joel

May 15, 2019, 12:20 p.m.

Checking In

Hi - Been SO busy. Finally updated my calendar. Look for the new Qt. record from Woodshedd records NY. It's a super hip double guitar qt. with great interaction. The new duo record on Unseen Rain records NYC, with guitarist Jack DeSalvo out soon too. Look for the Bill Evans/Jim Hall tribute that I'm doing with great pianist Larry McDonough. This music and project is special to me, highly intimate music. More Soon!

Nov. 14, 2018, 4:45 p.m.

Checking in - Almost September

I’ve been busy as in 30 gigs a month busy. No free time, but have two new recordings coming out on Unseen Rain records recorded in NJ late May. Otherwise many many great musical experiences and endeavors in progress. Be happy and well — your friend Joel

Aug. 26, 2018, 1:22 a.m.


e-mail / text: 651-235-1829

April 14, 2018, 10:22 p.m.

Mid Winter

Hope you are well. Winter is always a challenge in MN, but we are getting through it with many great gigs and projects. Look for new recordings down the road, and alot of gigs all over town.

Feb. 8, 2018, 1:50 p.m.

Happy New Year

It's been a great year and 2018 looks promising. If I don't update my gig calendar, it's due to being so busy I don't have time, apologies.

Jan. 4, 2018, 1:58 p.m.

‘In Essence’ News

My solo guitar recording ‘In Essence’ is now available everywhere as digital downloads. The video I submitted to Vintage Guitar magazine in conjunction with my upcoming feature piece, is at 27.4k views. That’s about 25k more than my previous most watched video. 😁😁 Many great projects happening including trio 280, and the Sunday open jam at Basement Bar just gets better and better. Absolutely love those Sundays with so many great players showing up to play!!

Dec. 8, 2017, 7:35 p.m.

Vintage Guitar Magazine piece

The good folks at Vintage Guitar Magazine have been so supportive of my career and projects. After a very nice review of ‘In Essence’, they have posted a video I made for
them on their website, and on their FB page. After less than a day, it already has around 20,000 views. Please check it out here .

Nov. 25, 2017, 12:02 p.m.

Website updates!

As time permits, and as my admin skills increase, I'll continue making updates and enhancing site info and images. I've added some shows, have some videos up, and generally things are coming together.

Nov. 22, 2017, 5:11 p.m.

New Website!

This is the first blog on my new website. For the first time I’m able to do some content admin, so I’ll keep updating things

I’ll also be using this blog to talk about projects, gigs, music and the business. Thanks for checking things out. 😀

Nov. 16, 2017, 10:39 p.m.