Joel Shapira: “In Essence”
Kevin O'Connor
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Jazz Police

The guitar, and its distant kin, the piano, are self-contained orchestras. Few other instruments possess their range in dynamics and melodic potential.

If you’re going to master either, it helps to be keenly aware of that. It also doesn’t hurt to have a universal sphere of interests.

I can’t think of too many guitar players, or people for that matter, whose passions cut as wide a swath as those of Minnesota’s own Joel Shapira. Musically, he’s an unmatched trove of diversity. Through the modern grapevine of social media I’ve learned that Joel is as well-versed in classical music as he is jazz. He can also dig into classic rock, blues, folk and reference punk with the best of them. And passing these traits on to others is also an obvious love.

Nov. 25, 2017
A "Bottomless Pit" of Talent: Joel Shapira's New Quartet at the Black Dog, January 17
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

Guitarist Joel Shapira has been busy lately. In addition to his frequent solo gigs and pairing with vocalist Charmin Michelle ("Charmin and Shapira"), Joel has performed regularly at the Dakota with the expanded Charmin and Shapira and Friends, released a guitar duo recording with New Yorker Jack DeSalvo and another (earlier this month) with Dean Granros, recorded during the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Now he's assembled a new quartet which debuts in St. Paul Saturday, January 17 at 8:30 pm as the headliner on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series. All stars in their own right, members of Bottomless Pit include saxophonist Pete Whitman, bassist Tom Lewis, and drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt. Opening for the quartet at 7 pm will be Jazz Front, with Ted Godbout (piano), Eric Graham (bass), and Jeffrey Dunitz (drums).

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Jan. 16, 2015
Joel Shapira and Dean Granros: CD Celebration at the Black Dog
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

About a year ago, Twin Cities' guitarist Joel Shapira needed a stand-in for his New York-based partner Jack DeSalvo, who was unable to make the trek to Minnesota to celebrate their new recording, Inherence. For the CD release gig at the Black Dog, Shapira found a willing "sub" in Minnesota's own guitar guru, Dean Granros. The result was not a duplication of the Shapira-DeSalvo magic, but a new partnership, and a stunning one at that. Since that night, Shapira and Granros have furthered their collaboration, now captured as Jazz Duets: Live at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival (Art Bunker Recordings). No stand-in needed this time - Shapira and Granros will return to the Black Dog on January 9 (8 pm) to celebrate the CD release at its point of origin.

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Jan. 8, 2015
"Inherence": Joel Shapira Celebrates Duo Guitar Release at the Black Dog
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

Former student and mentor, guitarists Joel Shapira and Jack DeSalvo, reunited recently via the internet, and soon found themselves in a New Jersey recording studio. The result is Inherence (Unseen Rain Records), an intriguing and luminous set of guitar duos which Shapira --sans DeSalvo--will celebrate on February 5th at the Black Dog Cafe in St. Paul's Lowertown Arts District. Standing in for DeSalvo (unable to get to Minnesota from the East Coast) will be Minnesota's own guitar guru, Dean Granros.

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Feb. 4, 2014
Return of the Student: CD captures chemistry between a Master and his former apprentice
Bill Stieger
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The Villager

Long-time Mentor. Every artist worth his chops has had one if not more. Whether it is through the inspiration of another artists work or the time spent in a personal apprenticeship, every artist stands on the shoulders of his predecessors.

For a former apprentice to return to his mentor and collaborate is rare, but that is exactly what Highland Park guitarist Joel Shapira has done with his former teacher, Jack DeSalvo. Shapira and DeSalvo have recorded a new album of jazz guitar duets titled “lnherence”. Its release will be celebrated with a concert from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 5, at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, 308 Prince St. in St.Paul’s Lowertown.

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Jan. 22, 2014
Joel Shapira Quartet, Open Lines
Don Berryman
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Jazz Police

If anyone needed a reminder that we have an amazing depth of jazz talent in the Twin Cities, they would find it in the solid new release from the Joel Shapira Quartet, Open Lines. Dispensing classic jazz guitar sound from his Gibson, Joel Shapira has been very busy having also just released his second duet album with vocalist Charmin Michelle, Dawning and Daylight. Although he co-founded and has recorded two great albums with the trio Triplicate, this is Joel's first recording leading a quartet. For his quartet project Joel recruited tenor saxophonist Pete Whitman. Whitman is well known as the composer and bandleader behind the Pete Whitman X-tet (which got a four star review from Downbeat) but here he demonstrates his astounding ability as a soloist. Filling out the quartet are first-call bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Dave Schmalenberger. Taking their set list from instrumental favorites including compositions by jazz greats Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, etc., they sho...

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June 5, 2011
Joel Shapira Celebrates Release of "Open Lines" at Hell's Kitchen
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

Over the past few months, Twin Cities-based guitarist Joel Shapira and his quartet have been previewing Open Lines, a spirited set that brings together an outstanding bop and beyond ensemble with saxophonist Pete Whitman, bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Dave Schmalenberger. On May 19 at Hell’s Kitchen, Open Lines finally gets its proper CD Release Party.

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May 15, 2011
Charmin and Shapira, "Dawning and Daylight"
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

If you live in or near the Twin Cities, you are probably already familiar with the succulent duo sounds of songbird Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira, the longstanding “Charmin and Shapira.” And if they are a new find, what a treat! As on their debut release, Pure Imagination (2005), on the new Dawning and Daylight they augment the ensemble with “friends” Paul Harper (tenor sax), Tom Lewis (bass), and Nathan Norman (drums), and this time, on two tracks, bring in Dave Schmalenberger on congas.

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Feb. 10, 2011
Critique: "Dawning and Daylight" (CD)
Leslie Connors
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Jazz Times

“Dawning and Daylight” is the kind of album that should be released on vinyl. It has that Southern roots feel to it, offering a slice of Americana that most contemporary jazz recordings eschew. Smooth but not smooth jazz, “Dawning and Daylight” is an alternative to the cookie-cutter commercialism that has infected the genre for decades now. Charmin and Shapira cover well-worn jazz staples with the no-frills arrangements and bluesy undertow that immortalized them to begin with.

Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira make an attractive pair, and they seem to feed off one another. On “I Remember You,” Shapira’s slinky guitar weaves through the curves of Michelle’s steamy delivery. Michelle comes across like a female version of Nat King Cole; like Cole, there is an icy quality to her singing that stems from a profound heartache. On “Weep No More,” she is absolutely stunning, caressing the ears with tender, lovelorn singing as Shapira hypnotizes with a slow-hand groove.

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Feb. 9, 2011
And all that jazz... Versatility breeds success for Highland Park guitarist
Bill Stieger
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The Villager

Joel Shapira is that rarest of jazz musicians—a busy one. The Highland Park guitarist's secret to success is a combination of talent, flexibility and business acumen. "I play with a lot of different groups." Shapira said and not all of them are jazz-oriented. And that's OK with me. Jazz is my first love and the reason I play guitar, but I'm happy to play different styles of music." Besides booking his own jazz quartet, Shapira plays the classical guitar at weddings, performs with Vic Volare's eight-piece swing band, accompanies jazz vocalist Charmin Michelle, provides the musical entertainment at corporate functions and leads the liturgical band at a Lutheran church in Maplewood.

"Playing music is the only thing I've ever wanted to do," Shapira said. "But I have to spend as much time just making sure I get to play it, which is the business part of it."

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Dec. 22, 2010
New Strings
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

Guitarist Joel Shapira and his quartet have been previewing Open Lines, a spirited set that brings together an outstanding bop and beyond ensemble with saxophonist Pete Whitman, bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Dave Schmalenberger. They aired some of these tunes at Hell’s Kitchen last week and an official CD release party is in the works. But meanwhile, the new CD is available from Joel, one of the busier artists in the metro –with this quartet, Pooch’s Playhouse, his duo with Charmin Michelle (Charmin & Shapira) and an occasional gig with Triplicate, as well as frequent supporting roles for area vocalists.

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Oct. 28, 2010
Three's No Crowd -- For versatile jazz pros, personal expression comes in TRIPLICATE
Tom Surowicz
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The Villager

My Irish grandmother used to believe that bad things came in threes. However, she never had the pleasure of hearing TRIPLICATE, a Twin Cities trio of experienced, savvy and hip young jazz pros. Their sound is a decidedly good thing.

TRIPLICATE is composed of guitarist Joel Shapira of Merriam Park, bass player Bruce "Pooch" Heine of Minneapolis' Longfellow neighborhood and drummer Dave Stanoch of Minnetonka. Together, the three men have enough credits for two movies. They have worked with garage rock and blues bands, toured with Broadway musicals and performed on Caribbean cruise ships. They all teach music, perform in other combos, do private parties and weddings, and accompany singers.

Stanoch and his wife, singer-songwriter Katy Tessman, run their own CD label, Rhythmelodic Records. Stanoch has also taught at Music Tech in downtown Minneapolis for the past decade.

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March 28, 2010
Triplicate at Hell’s Kitchen, January 7th
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

“This polished band more than capably covers a lot of hip turf: hard bop, jazz-rock, Monk, Mingus, New Orleans funk, even a snatch of Led Zeppelin." -- Tom Surowicz, Star Tribune

“Evoking emotions from broody contemplation to giddy exuberance.” --Don Berryman, Jazz Police

Good things come in threes, the saying goes, and in jazz that often comes in the form of a trio. Such is the case with Triplicate, a collaboration featuring Joel Shapira on guitar, Bruce “Pooch” Heine on bass, and Dave Stanoch on drums. Performing rather irregularly these days, Triplicate takes the stage at Hell’s Kitchen on Thursday, January 7th.

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Jan. 4, 2010
Pooch’s Playhouse at the Red Sea, March 19th, 2009
TCJS

What happens when five veteran jazzmen come together for mutual inspiration and free conversation? Welcome to Pooch’s Playhouse, built over about six months of experimentation and collaboration. The “housewarming” was held in January at the 318 in Wayzata, and another “open house” took place on a Late Night gig at the Dakota. The playspace now moves to the Red Sea on the U of M’s West Bank, on Thursday, March 19th at 9 pm.

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March 1, 2009
Charmin & Shapira: Pure Delight at the Dakota and More
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

“She gently seduces the listener time after time, whether the fare is ageless blues, warm bossa, intimate love song, or upbeat novelty. She's a flower, a lovesome thing.” –Tom Surowicz (Star Tribune)

Ginger and Fred, Ike and Tina, even Lucy and Ethel—great entertainment has often come in pairs. Locally, vocalists Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira are one of the stellar duos of the decade, a collaboration documented on their 2005 recording, Pure Imagination. On Tuesday night, August 14th, Charmin & Shapira “and friends” perform at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis. Other duo gigs this month include the Times (August 18th), Fireside Pizza (August 22nd) and Cue at the Guthrie (August 31st).

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Aug. 12, 2007
The critics' ballots, Albums of the Year
Tom Surowicz
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Star Tribune

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

Dave Graf, "Just Like That"
Carole Martin, "Songs From My Heart"
Various Artists, "Minnesota All Stars, Great Accordion and Concertina Performances from the Northstar State"
Phil Hey Quartet, "Subduction"
Irv Williams, "Dedicated to You"
Auto Body Experience, "Forgotten Lots"
Gordon Johnson, "Trios, Version 3.0"
Bobby E. Ekstrand, "The Guitar"
Fat Kid Wednesdays, "The Art of Cherry"
Triplicate, "Day & Age"

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Dec. 29, 2005
TRIPLICATE Day & Age
DRUM!

MUSIC: Crack open the merlot, light a fine cigar, and lay back in your comfiest chair with your eyes closed. Are you feeling relaxed? Yes? Listen to the music in your head and let it take you away. Go to the Middle East with "Hit On Twelve," then stop over in the Caribbean with "On Green Dophin Street," before you end up in West Africa with "Alioune." Quite a journey indeed.

DRUMMING: David Stanoch has played with Ed Shaughnessy, Bernard Purdie, Clyde Stubblefield, and has been on the faculty of the McNally Smith College of Music for over a decade. Impressive, no? With a resume like that, it shouldn't surprise anyone that he can play so well. He leads most of "Move" with impressive hi-hat accents and then works the cowbell and woodblock clave simultaneously on "Ritual."

VERDICT: Frankly, these guys are so good that it's intimidating.

May 1, 2005
The week in music: Critics' concert picks
Star Tribune

This is a model for what a modern jazz trio should be. Dedicated, democratic, dogged in their vision yet never myopic, Triplicate joins three men on a mission: electric guitarist Joel Shapira, bassist Bruce (Pooch) Heinie and drummer Dave Stanoch, whose sophomore CD, "Day & Age," mixes fresh takes on treasured bebop (Monk, Bird, Denzil Best), with original songs that reach out to New Orleans, the Middle East, Africa, Northern Minnesota and the Caribbean. (7 p.m. Thu., Dakota Jazz Club. $5.) (T.S.)

Feb. 11, 2005
Day and Age: a new CD from Triplicate
Don Berryman
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Jazz Police

"Day and Age" is the new release from the Twin Cities' premiere progressive 'chamber jazz' trio Triplicate. This is the second release from this band. Triplicate is composed of top Twin Cities' musicians Joel Shapira on electric guitar, Bruce "Pooch" Heine on acoustic & electric bass, and David Stanoch on drums. This CD satisfies the listener with a variety of tunes with passages evoking emotions from broody contemplation to giddy exuberance.

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Feb. 1, 2005
The Wave ~ Best Bets: Be-bop, hard-hop jazz trio plays Beaner's
Duluth News Tribune

Triplicate, a Twin Cities jazz trio, brings its original and improvisational tunes to Beaner's Centra, 324 N. Central Ave., at 8 p.m. today.

Guitarist Joel Shapira, bassist Bruce Heine and percussionist Dave Stanoch strive to push the envelope of musical variety. Nothing is taboo when it comes to fusing styles and sounds.

Triplicate takes traditional jazz styles and refines them with hard-edged improvisations, funky arrangements and swinging, energetic tunes.

The band released its debut, self-titled CD in 2001 and since then has made the rounds of the college scene in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Admission costs $5. Call 624-5357.

Nov. 1, 2002
TO DO TODAY -- TRIPLICATE
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Local jazz trio Triplicate released its debut CD one year ago to a sold-out audience at the Dakota. Since then, the group was nominated for Minnesota Music Awards in two jazz categories and placed in regular rotation on KBEM 88.5-FM. Drummer Dave Stanoch, guitarist Joel Shapira and bassist Bruce Heine bring their brand of bebop and hard bop back to the Dakota for a free show. 8 p.m.; Dakota Bar and Grill, Bandana Square, 1021 E. Bandana Blvd,. St. Paul; (651)642-1442.

Oct. 2, 2002
Minneapolis jazz trio Triplicate injects the personality of each band member into swanky original music
V. Paul Virtucio
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Duluth News Tribune

The band had three members, so it was called Triplicate. Pretty unoriginal. But the bebop-based, progressive jazz trio tries to ensure that everything else about it is unique. Its members write their own music, make their own arrangements of jazz standards and aren't afraid of fusing other music genres into their jazz sound.

"Jazz is personality. Whatever the three of us come up with sounds like us,'' said Dave Stanoch, Triplicate's drummer. "We're not trying to imitate anything. We draw on the best and move forward.''

The Minneapolis band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Beaner's Central Inc., 324 N. Central Ave. Though its members have played Duluth individually, this will be the trio's Duluth debut.

And as far as they can tell, Duluth audiences haven't heard anything like Triplicate, says bassist Bruce Heine.

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Oct. 26, 2001
High 5
Rip Saw News, Duluth, MN

Progressive jazz should push the boundaries and open our eyes to new musical possibilities. Triplicate, out of Minneapolis, uses this as its modus operandi. A trio of established musicians who have played together for five years, Triplicate performs inventive interpretations of jazz greats such as Charles Mingus, Miles Davis and John McLaughlin along with a steadily growing arsenal of solid originals. What results is a Hegelian synthesis of modern attitude and form, along with traditional jazz energy to produce a unique sound. This show is a great choice if you want to see a good jazz show at a place where you can actually get a beer (in other words, not at UMD). 8pm | $3 | Beaner's Central, 324 N. Central Ave. Duluth | 218.624.5957.

Oct. 24, 2001
Musings from the Jazz 88fm music director
Kevin O'Connor
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KBEM-FM, www.jazz88.com

On the Regional Scene: Triplicate is world class trio with a self-titled release for Rhythmelodic records.

"Triplicate" has eleven stellar tracks and a guitar and rhythm-driven sound that surpasses like-minded national outings I receive by the bakers-dozen.

Guitarist Joel Shapira, bassist Bruce "Pooch" Heine and drummer Dave Stanoch, (who provides a couple of powerful originals, the other from "Pooch"), make for a highly compatible combo who are gaining enough notoriety to land a spot on the local televised coverage during Ken Burn's Jazz. Check Jazz events on our site for gigs featuring these guys, and by all means, explore the cd!

Feb. 1, 2001
The week in music: Critics' picks for Jan. 19-25
Tom Surowicz
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Star Tribune

After five years of fruitful collaboration -- and gigs at every bar, bookshop and public park that let them plug in -- this hometown jazz trio was plenty ready to record its first CD. Empathy abounds on Triplicate's untitled new release for Rhythmelodic Records. This polished band more than capably covers a lot of hip turf: hard bop, jazz-rock, Monk, Mingus, New Orleans funk, even a snatch of Led Zeppelin. Guitarist Joel Shapira, bassist Bruce (Pooch) Heine and drummer Dave Stanoch make all the disparate elements fit into a refined and personalized jazz trio travelin' bag. Heine's eloquence is palpable on the J.J. Johnson ballad classic, "Lament." Stanoch brews up a trap set storm on "Third Wind," an original tune. Shapira goes acoustic when you least expect it ("Crescent City Strut"), then plays pretty for all the parents in earshot on "Sweet and Lovely." Triplicate's debut album is a tres hip trip. (9 p.m. Fri., Dakota Bar & Grill, Bandana Square, St. Paul. $8. 651-642-1442.)

Jan. 19, 2001
Local Artists Produce Impressive Releases
Bob Protzman
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St. Paul Pioneer Press

"Triplicate", Triplicate, Rhythmelodic * * * 1/2 (out of a possible 4 stars)

The past year was perhaps the most productive and rewarding in some time for jazz recordings by Twin Cities musicians.

Add to those these fine recent releases from the trio Triplicate (Joel Shapira, guitar; Bruce "Pooch" Heine, bass; Dave Stanoch, drums) and the duo of valve trombonist Brad Bellows and guitarist Dean Granros.

Triplicate is deceptively excellent. A band for some five years (you can hear it in their in-sync and interactive playing), its members have varied and extensive resumes as students, players and teachers, evident in the choice of material, incorporation of various idioms, and high level of musicianship.

There's an appealing deliberateness, spareness and relaxed feeling with Triplicate, reflected in some pieces played at a slower-than-usual tempo and the breathing room in the group's ensemble arrangements, as well as in solos by each player.

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Jan. 14, 2001
Triple Delight: Triplicate’s Three Gigs in November
Andrea Canter
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Jazz Police

“This polished band more than capably covers a lot of hip turf: hard bop, jazz-rock, Monk, Mingus, New Orleans funk, even a snatch of Led Zeppelin." -- Tom Surowicz, Star Tribune

Good things come in threes, the saying goes, and in jazz that often comes in the form of a trio. Such is the case with Triplicate, a collaboration featuring Joel Shapira on guitar, Bruce “Pooch” Heine on bass, and Dave Stanoch on drums. And there are three opportunities to enjoy their creative repertoire in November, over four consecutive dates, with gigs at The Artists Quarter (November 7th), the pre-concert lobby performance at Orchestra Hall (November 8th), and via the Late Night at the Dakota series (November 9-10).

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Reverend Tomkin Coleman

"My recommendation for a Minnesota wedding guitarist: Joel Shapira is a wonderful musician and a great choice! Joel not only has audio clips on his website (so you don't have to have a CD mailed to you), he also had video clips so you can actually see him playing! Also, he has his public performances marked on his online calendar, so you can see him perform live, if you like."

Jack DeSalvo and Joel Shapira - Inherence
JH
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Vintage Guitar Magazine

New York-based DeSalvo and St. Paul’s Shapira have shaped a duo record showcasing their incredible jazz chops while displaying tons of heart. Several of the songs are DeSalvo originals, alongside four Wayne Shorter pieces and two cuts basically improvised on the spot. This is truly a feast for guitar and jazz lovers, revealing new insights with every listen.

Heather
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Wedding Wire

Joel did and AMAZING job with the music for our wedding ceremony. It was the perfect atmosphere. Joel is wonderfully talented and great to work with. He is also a great value - the DJ we hired charged the same about to play ceremony music as it was for live music so it made the decision very easy for us! I would recommend him to anyone. I didn't get to hear all of the music on our wedding day but everyone loved it and I can't wait for the video!

Joe & Anita

Joe has been one of my favorite vendors to work with! He's extremely prompt with emails - I usually had a reply within an hour or two. His music speaks for itself - he's a gifted musician! I gave him a list of a few songs we liked, and basically told him that we wanted non-traditional music, and he ran with it. It was perfect! He did learn 1 song for us free of charge - Love's Divine by Seal. I had to purchase the sheet music for him, which was not a problem.

TCJS ‘Jazz from J to Z’ Concert: Pooch’s Playhouse: Exploring Jazz Music Today

What happens when five veteran jazzmen come together for mutual inspiration and free conversation? Welcome to Pooch’s Playhouse at the Artists’ Quarter on March 21 (7 p.m.), a Twin Cities Jazz Society “Jazz from J to Z” concert. Pooch’s Playhouse features bassist Bruce “Pooch” Heine, guitarist Joel Shapira, saxophonist Dave Brattain, pianist Mark Asche and percussionist Dave Schmalenberger. Shapira describes the music as “diversely influenced, adventurous and open-ended, but we are first and foremost a pure jazz group, that is the intention of this band... and we are proud of that fact.” The band will play tunes by Shapira, Asche, Heine, and Brattain. Some other composers will include Hank Mobley, Kenny Werner, Bill Frisell, Branford Marsalis, Joe Henderson, Clifford Brown and more.

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The Knot

Masterful guitarist Joel Shapira available for your ceremony, cocktail/reception. An extensive & varied repertoire of classical pieces, standards, current pop tunes and more. Outdoor events welcome. Also available in duo format with flute or vocals. Joel is a very respected & renowned MN performer.