Looking for contemporary folk music
in Monmouth County?
You've come to the right place!
Saturday 9/16/2017 7:30 PM
Opener: Efrat Shapira
Toronto-based singer-songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist Shawna Caspi performs solo, but there’s a whole band under her fingertips. A mighty singer, a story sculptor, and a truth teller, she has toured across Canada and the eastern USA and believes in poetry and the power of one person and one instrument.
With her third album, Apartments For Lovers, Shawna Caspi taps right into those folk roots, stripping away session musicians and elaborate arrangements in favour of a simple, authentic sound – her solo guitar and voice. The result is a collection of songs that is close-up and honest, showcasing her warm vocals, classically-trained fingerstyle guitar playing, and intimate songwriting in a genuine, powerful way. Her songs are snapshots – moments that may appear small, but which subtly carry weight and offer greater depth thanks to her well-crafted lyrics.
Shawna has toured throughout Canada and the United States, playing concerts and festivals. She has also played on the long haul trains between Montreal and Halifax and between Vancouver and Toronto as part of the VIA Rail On Board Entertainment Program.
Shawna’s Canadian folk roots are an intrinsic part of who she is. In fact, Shawna as a solo musician is exactly who she is as a person – warm, inviting, a storyteller, a traveler, an authentic artist. “And at the heart of everything”, she says, “I’m just a really big music fan”.
Efrat Shapira is a classically-trained violinist, violist, singer, arranger and composer. She began her musical studies on the violin at age 7 and was immediately drawn to the beauty within the variation of so many musical styles. She learned klezmer and Israeli music from her father, dabbled in folk and rock, and learned to play bluegrass, country, and any other genre she came into contact with. She was accepted into the top classical violin schools in the country with scholarships, choosing to study at Indiana University. During this time she also was a member of the Shira Festival Orchestra in Israel, directed by Lorin Maazel, with conductors including Zubin Mehta.
After graduation, Efrat moved to NYC to continue her career. Her first job was concertmaster for Olivia Newton John Orchestras, after which she re-established the Jade Quartet which had started at IU. On top of her work as a violinist, violist, and strings composer and arranger, Efrat also pursued her love of singing and jazz, culminating in her debut CD, No Strings Attached. She also toured as an onstage violinist in the Broadway show tour of Oliver, receiving rave reviews continent-wide.
At this point Efrat became a new mother, took a break from being a leader, and joined Spuyten Duyvil for a few years, as well as working and recording as a sideman for other notable bands. Now back and feeling rejuvenated, Efrat is overjoyed to present her new CD The Silver Lining. She is also busy working on projects with the Jade Quartet and starting a Klezmer duo with her father, accordionist Dan Shapira.
Saturday 11/18/2017 7:30 PM
Kipyn Martin and Annika Bennett co-bill
Kipyn Martin is an emerging Indie Folk singer-songwriter whose roots sink deep into the banks of the Shenandoah River. She currently plays festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses, and house concerts from New England to Texas.
Kipyn celebrated several milestones in January 2017 including the release of Dance Across the Sky, a new solo project following up her debut Undercover Muse, and winning the coveted Gold Award in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest for God is Love, her third MASC Gold adding to previous wins in 2013 and 2014. As good as her songwriting is, her distinctive voice is even more remarkable, one of the most beautiful I’ve encountered in the folk music field!
Additional accolades for Kipyn include being honored by the Washington Area Music Association with their WAMMIE Award for New Artist of the Year in 2015 and multiple nominations the following year for Songwriter of the Year and Folk Contemporary Vocalist.
Kipyn also tours the country with Allison Shapira in the duo show Joan & Joni, a tribute to the music of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell.
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Annika Bennett has written scores of songs and performed extensively throughout the greater New York City area. Her music captures a unique blend of pop melodies, with folk/singer-songwriter lyrics.
In 2014, Annika was awarded ASCAP's prestigious Robert Allen Award for excellence in songwriting, and was the audience choice winner of radio WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs competition. In 2015, she recorded her self-released solo EP, “Seventeen,” and won the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist Competition.
In addition to pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter, Annika has begun venturing into pop songwriting for/with other artists. She completed one year at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music on a scholarship to study pop music production, and she will spend this coming year in Nashville working with Sony Records.