Canadian singer and guitarist Shawna Caspi headlines the latest in a slate of Earth Room Concert at the Unitarian Meetinghouse this Saturday.
Music fans here on the Greater Red Bank Green know that you can tune in to just about any genre in the area’s clubs, concert halls, community rooms and colorful festivals. From choral classics to classic rock; big band jazz to bluegrass Americana; a capella doo wop to alternative DIY, there’s always been a little something for every ear — although for the longest time, folk music aficionados had to bide their time between summertime special events and the odd little coffeehouse jam.
That all changed in 2016, when Lincroft’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation hosted the first in a quietly ambitious Earth Room Concert Series — a slate of events that has matched international acts on the cutting edge of the contemporary folk scene with an appreciative local fanbase.
When the series returns to the meetinghouse sanctuary this Saturday, it will spotlight two young female musicians with intriguingly different approaches to the modern genre.
The music kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with Efrat Shapira, a violinist, vocalist and composer whose classical training saw her perform as a child prodigy with professional orchestras in the American South — and whose path since then has found her performing jazz, bluegrass, Broadway scores and serving a stint as concertmaster for Olivia Newton John.
Having taken a particular interest in Jewish klezmer music, she formed a duo act with her father, accordion player Dan Shapira, and her most recent recording The Silver Lining, finds her swinging effortlessly across record-shop bins and boundaries, even as her “all girl” band Jade Quartet remains available “for corporate and social events as well as weddings, bar mitzvahs and more.”
Taking the headline spot for Saturday’s session is Toronto-based Shawna Caspi, herself a classically trained guitarist in the fingerstyle method, and a singer-songwriter who’s been described as “a story sculptor and a truth teller.”
On her just-dropped album, Forest Fire, and three previous releases, the hard-touring solo performer who “believes in poetry and the power of one person and one instrument” transforms her original songs into sound paintings through spare but evocative arrangements — and complements the music with her own acclaimed oil paintings, featured throughout the album art design.
Tickets are available online here ($20 adult) or at the door ($25). The Earth Room Concerts series resumes with performances by Kipyn Martin and Annika Bennett (November 18), Richard Shindell (December 2), and Jesse Terry (March 3, 2018).