There is perhaps no better example of a modern artistic renaissance man than Joe Lapinski, who has strongly made his presence felt in the St. Catharines arts scene over the past several years. This solo musician, group member, songwriter, producer and composer has just recently released his new solo album, The Beauty Beyond.
Lapinski’s third solo album was just recently released and features the hauntingly beautiful and soothing melodies Lapinski is known for. Self defined as “progressive indie Canadian-folk”, his unique song structures and use of traditional instruments create unique listening experience.
Known around St. Catharines for more than just his luscious moustache, Lapinski is also highly dedicated to the Niagara artistic community. Most notably, Lapinski is the co-founder of the In the Soil Arts Festival — which is essentially a three-day explosion of creativity on the streets of downtown St. Catharines. Many forms of artistic experiences are represented from music, theatre dance to out-of-the-box performance installations.
“With this year’s In the Soil Arts Festival, I was shocked at how many NEW music acts applied”, said Lapinski. “It made be very happy and excited to be part of this growing community. There are so many hard working bands in this area, and new ones are sprouting up all the time. This shows me that musicians in St. Catharines and Niagara are excited to be here and being part of the community. Lots of folks are helping each other out, whether its recording an album, or putting on a show. I’m also seeing a couple new music venues pop up in town. This is always a sign that there is a demand for more live music.”
His dedication to the City of St. Catharines doesn’t end with community involvement however, he also represents his home through musical enterprises. In fact, The Beauty Beyond carries heavy inspiration from personal and historical experiences in the region.
“I think every song writer composes from what they know; my surroundings here in Niagara are always something I’m trying to learn more about. I see a lot of growth and change in St. Catharines these days, which lends to some of the uplifting and energetic sounds of my new album,” said Lapinski. “The downtown arts landscape is really going to change. There are lots of artists taking risks.”
As a record producer, Lapinski is the founder and chief of Yummy Records and also runs Midtown Studios. His positions expose him to a lot of new, local artists that are beginning their careers in the music industry.
“I love working with new artists,” said Lapinski. “There are often no expectations in the studio with young and upcoming musicians and song writers, which leaves us a “blank slate” to work with. The energy is exciting and creative ideas flow freely. I try and approach all artists like this, treating their project as if it was their first.”
Lapinski has an upcoming sold-out show in Virgil at the SilverSmith brewery on Feb. 7 at 8:00 p.m. If you didn’t get a chance to reserve your ticket early, you can find Lapinski instead at Mahtay Cafe on Mar. 14 at 8:00 p.m. Looking further ahead, In the Soil Arts Festival will run from April 25 until April 27, for more information check out the web site: inthesoil.on.ca.