Guitarist Joel Shapira is an nationally acclaimed musician residing in St. Paul / Minneapolis MN. He's a leader and/or member of multiple top Twin Cities' jazz ensembles, as well as a master of the demanding discipline of solo guitar. He performs regularly with world class musicians, has numerous recordings to his credit, and is an artist featured on the NYC record label Unseen Rain Records.

In 2017, with the release of his first solo guitar recording "In Essence", Shapira has received glowing accolades from critics in Vintage Guitar magazine, The Jazz Police, The Villager newspaper, Jazz writer Andrea Canter, as well as from listeners and fans. KBEM Jazz/88.5FM in the Twin Cities, has given the recording extensive airplay since it's release in early June. For info and sound samples check here.

Featured Releases

TWIN TOWN STRINGS debut recording "On the Way" is available to order by regular mail! Price is $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping in the US. It's a departure into new musical territories, and I'm proud of this project! Twin Town Strings is: Pete Hennig banjo and (myself) Joel Shapira guitar. Bluegrass, rock, and original music!

"So Many Roads" is my duo release on Unseen Rain Records. I consider it some of the finest recorded playing I've done, and guitar virtuoso Jack DeSalvo is in prime form. It's on Bandcamp.com and I'll have hard copy CD's in a couple weeks for mail order. It has a striking cover photo, which is well-suited to the music on the recording.

My solo guitar recording "Triple Bridge" IS AVAILABLE. It's an all originals project, featuring nine of my compositions. I'm extremely excited to present and share this music! CD's NOW available for mail order. Here's a Villager piece featuring "Triple Bridge".

"Butterfly Wings" is my CD with sublime vocalist Charmin Michelle. It's a wonderful collection of diverse tunes, and I feel it's our finest work to date! $14.00 includes shipping in USA.

~~"Intermodulating Undercurrents live at the Koz; the music of Bill Evans and Jim Hall" is AVAILABLE by MAIL ORDER for $18.00 in the USA. With Larry McDonough piano, our CD release show at the Dakota in August was one of the best gigs of my career. A state of the art piano/guitar duo recording.

Contact and Ordering

~~You can MAIL ORDER all my (in stock) CD's.

Venmo: @Joel-Shapira-1

PayPal: paypal.me/joelshapiramusic~~

Contact: e-mail joelshapira@msn.com / text: 651-235-1829

Career Highlights

I’ve performed at the internationally renowned Dakota since 1995. At the original St. Paul location, and the current downtown Minneapolis location, I’ve performed as a leader or sideman over fifty times.

I’ve been a featured performer at the Twin Cities Hot Summer Jazz Festival annually since 1995 and will be again this year. 2024.

I’ve performed numerous times live on various local television stations: KARE11, WCCO and KSTP as a leader or sideman.

My debut solo jazz guitar recording "In Essence" received a full page review and feature piece in international publication Vintage Guitar. (Insert piece/pic)

I’ve been a featured guest on KBEM 88.5FM radio numerous times, both for performance and interviews.

• I've done around 4000 gigs since I became a professional musician in 1983.

• I've worked with hundreds of brilliant musicians of many styles and diverse musical backgrounds.

• I'm a full time musician, I make my living performing and teaching.

• I'm a composer, and have written, performed, and recorded many of my original pieces.

Some luminaries I have either studied with, or shared a stage with: Joe Pass, Tal Farlow, Gene Bertoncini, Charlie Byrd, Jack McDuff, Bernard Purdie, Butch Miles, Randy Brecker, Eric Kamau, Gravatt, Sharon Isbin. Some of these folks are now gone. Many were either 'sitting in', or 'one-off' lesson situations, but I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had connection with 'all' of them in some capacity.

Current Events

I am AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE GIGS. Solo guitar or larger groups. Weddings, corporate events, holiday parties, restaurants, clubs.

For my LIVE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: click the "Shows" header above. You'll see additional current listings.

Check out my recent interview with pianist Larry McDonough on KBEM 88.5FM. It talks about our Bill Evans/Jim Hall project: "Intermodulating Undercurrents". There's four tunes we performed as part of KBEM's 'Live from Studio 1' jazz series. Copy and paste link below.

Look for this duo around town. It's some of the most inspiring music I've ever performed.

Other current projects include: Intermodulating Undercurrents: The Music of Bill Evans and Jim Hall, Jazz Qt. Bottomless Pit, Charmin and Shapira jazz guitar/vocal Duo, with international vocalist Charmin Michelle, Twin Town Strings Bluegrass duo with banjo player Pete Hennig, Trio 280, a jazz organ trio featuring original music, Lowertown Trio, a jazz, funk, rock trio with vocals and percussion, a regular church Duo with piano every Sunday at Andrew Riverside Church Mpls, The Joel Shapira Qt., with its release "Open Lines" in 2011, and a multitude of other sideman gigs and solo guitar gigs, including solo guitar every Tuesday 4-7pm at MSP international airport, and for over two years the dinner show twice monthly at Vieux Carre on Thursday’s at 6pm.


I am first and foremost a jazz guitarist. I've dedicated my life to the jazz art form, and it is what I'm best known for in my professional and public musical career. I have a wide spectrum of musicians in the Twin Cities, as well as NYC and NJ with whom I collaborate and record. I've been fortunate enough to cross paths with many world class musicians. I've studied with some legendary guitarists including (the late) jazz legends Joe Pass and Tal Farlow. I studied guitar, harmony and composition extensively with the great NYC jazz guitarist Jack DeSalvo, as well as attended the Mannes School of music whilst living in New York City for over six years CONTACT INFO: e-mail joelshapira@msn.com / text: 651-235-1829


"Butterfly Wings" is our new jazz vocal/guitar duo recording. I feel it's our best work to date! Available May 1st, email joelshapira@msn.com to reserve a copy. Text: 651-235-1829 BOOK CHARMIN and SHAPIRA: Performing for twenty two and running, guitarist Joel Shapira and vocalist Charmin Michelle have what may be considered the most formidable jazz duo in MN. Charmin and Shapira. The duo is available for all venues, private events, corporate events and more. Add the great sidemen of Paul Harper (sax, flute), Tom Lewis (bass), and Nathan Norman (drums), makes it a jazz ensemble of the highest order. Dozens of performances at the Dakota jazz club in Minneapolis, Vieux Carre St. Paul, Orchestra Hall, Bloomington Black Box theater, and countless other locations. Please inquire for prices and availability. E-mail - www.joelshapira@msn.com or text at 651-235-1829 with all inquiries.


For over 30 years Joel Shapira has taught guitar extensively. He currently teaches in St. Paul at Cadenza Music. For lesson inquiries please e-mail. I occasionally have openings; adults and jazz or classical students preferred. Lessons are $42.50/half hour.


I've done over 500 wedding ceremonies. If you're interested in hiring me for solo guitar, prices start at $300.00. I perform jazz tunes, standards, Jewish music, classical music, the Beatles. e-mail: joelshapira@msn.com / text: 651-235-1829.