May 19, 2016: Tribute to Joan and Joni at Minstrel Friday

Tribute to Joan and Joni at Minstrel Friday
Bill Nutt, Correspondent
Daily Record, Part of USA Today Network

Besides the similarity of their first names, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell have quite a bit in common. Both women emerged during the folk movement of the 1960s. Both showed remarkable range as vocalists. Both proved that music could have a powerful impact, as an instrument of sociopolitical change or as means of personal expression.  The resonance these two remarkable women have had is the subject of “Joan & Joni,” a musical tribute by two singer-songwriters, Allison Shapira and Kipyn Martin. Shapira and Martin will present their tribute tonight, May 20, as part of the Minstrel acoustic concert series sponsored by the Folk Project in Morristown.

The set list features a plethora of covers; Shapira handles Baez’ songs, and Martin sings material written by Mitchell. In addition, each woman contributes harmony vocals for the other’s songs. (There is a visual connection, as well. Shapira, like Baez, has dark hair, while Martin has blonde tresses similar to Mitchell.) But the performances are not impersonations, said Shapira. “We’re not imitating them,” she said. “We’re singing their songs, but in our style.”  In addition, both Martin and Shapira will play their own songs, which reflect the Baez’s and Mitchell’s influence. “We hope people will enjoy our music and understand the effect these two women had on us,” Shapira said.

“Joan & Joni” is the product of more than three years of musical friendship. Martin and Shapira met each other online when each singer was looking for a roommate for the annual conference of the Northeast Folk Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA). “We realized how much we had in common,” Shapira said. “We talked about our music and about our influences.”

Shapira said that she had always admired Baez, while Martin was a long-time Mitchell fan. “That made us think: What if we did a tribute to them? As soon as we had the name, ‘Joan & Joni,’ people started asking where they could buy tickets.” That reaction is understandable, according to Shapira. She noted that Baez has won admirers for her stance on social causes. “I’ve read her autobiography, and I understand the extent to which music and activism were connected throughout her life.”

Shapira said her favorite Baez song is “Diamonds and Rust,” which she praised for its “vivid imagery, its storytelling, and the raw emotion behind it.” Joan would take songs and interpret them in her own way,” Shapira said. “Her singing has so much power, so much authenticity. I appreciate how she uses a song to raise awareness.”

As for Mitchell, Shapira said that few songwriters have been able to take personal experiences and shape them into art that is so universally felt. In addition, Mitchell expanded the boundaries of song structure with jazz-like melodies and arrangements. “Kipyn does an amazing job interpreting Joni’s songs,” Shapira said. “Her version of ‘A Case of You’ is so real. You’re in the moment with her.”

WHEN: 8 tonight
WHERE: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown
TICKETS: $9 admission, plus a free-will offering after the performance.
INFO: 973-335-9489 or

April 22, 2016: The Deli Magazine - Washington, DC

Acoustic folk duo Joan & Joni to perform at the National Colonial Farm
By Jonathan Goodwin
The Deli Magazine

Remember Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell? These legendary ladies of folk have laid down lasting legacies and two accomplished women in the DC area are a product of that influence. Meet Joan & Joni, a duo dedicated to the works of Baez and Mitchell and comprising Allison Shapira and Kipyn Martin. Both performers possess amazing vocals, creating transcendental melodies, and they pluck their guitars in the most elegant ways, crafting an intimate and enveloping sound that you should check out. They display a rich stage presence and a level of talent not to be taken lightly. Catch them tomorrow night, 4/23, at the National Colonial Farm in Accokeek, MD. Doors at 6, $12. -Jonathan Goodwin

April 19, 2016: - New Jersey

Folk Project presents musical tribute to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell on May 20 in Morristown
Posted on April 22, 2016
Community Bulletin

The music of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell will be featured at The Minstrel on Friday, May 20 at 8:00 pm at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown. Performing will be the duo of Allison Shapira and Kipyn Martin.

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December 8, 2015: Mountain Xpress - Asheville, NC

Smart bets: Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell tribute

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The folk music of singer-songwriters Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell has a second voice through tribute artists Allison Shapira and Kipyn Martin, respectively, “but our goal is not to mimic,” Shapira says. “We want to show how those music legends have influenced our own development as artists, so we sing their songs in our own way, and we also play our own original music.” Shapira calls her back-and-forth set with Martin highly interactive. Both cover artists share the songs’ historical and personal significance between numbers and provide harmonies for one another. “In fact, that’s something the audience seems to enjoy the most, especially when they can sing along,” Shapira says. “While Baez and Mitchell didn’t perform together very often and weren’t close, we nevertheless hope to demonstrate the inclusion and camaraderie that’s possible in folk music.” Isis Restaurant & Music Hall hosts an evening with Joan and Joni Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. $15. Photo by Eric M. Hilton

September 16, 2015: The Daily Gazette - Schenectady, NY

Duo brings songs and spirit of Baez, Mitchell to Caffe Lena
By Jeff Wilkin
The Daily Gazette
September 16, 2015

Allison Shapira and Kipyn Martin will play the renowned coffee house Friday — and they’re sort of bringing the famous folk singers with them.  Their show is “Joan & Joni,” and Allison & Kipyn will sing songs made famous by Baez and Mitchell. Curtain is 8 p.m. 

“They are going to hear some of Joan Baez’ and Joni Mitchell’s most well-known songs,” said Shapira, a trained opera singer who lives in Washington, D.C., and calls Baez a major influence. “They will hear a few hidden gems they may not have heard before. 

“It’s also important for both Kipyn and myself that this not just be a tribute show,” Shapira added. “We’re not trying to be Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. We are two independent singer-songwriters who want to show their influence on our own musical development and musical careers. 

“So we sing their songs in our own way and then we also bring in our own original music to show and demonstrate how Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell have influenced our own musical development.”

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