A Chronology of Appearances

This work-in-progress lists all currently known appearances, drawn from a variety of sources.
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001-2015.
Special thanks to Joel Bernstein for his contributions and assistance.
Latest Update: August 15, 2015
Please send comments, corrections or additions to: simon@icu.com

1996 . 05 . 08 Berwaldhallen Hall Stockholm, Sweden

The Polar Prize award and a prize of one million Swedish kronor
were presented to Joni by the King of Sweden. The ceremony
was broadcast live on Swedish radio and later shown on TV.

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  • Photo by Stefan Roos
  • Ticket stub
  • Joni with Jack Mittleman and Irma Schultz (artists who recorded the 'A Bird That Whistles' tribute album) at the after-party.
  • Joni receives the Polar Prize Award from King Carl XVI.
  • Joni at the Polar Music Prize Ceremony.<br>Source Polar Music Prize
  • Speech at the Polar Prize Ceremony.<br>Source Polar Music Prize.

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Among women in rock music, taking that genre in the broad sense, Joni Mitchell is perhaps the most talented and versatile. In a long career of prolific and many-sided artistry, she has combined the roles of composer, lyric writer, vocal artist and musician with an impressive array of "first instruments".

In her breakthrough as a singer, which came in 1968 when she was living in New York, Joni Mitchell displayed - in albums like Clouds, the style of which was influenced by rock and deeply rooted in folk music - her early ideals of composition and arrangement: melodic simplicity, economy of instrumentation and subtlety in the use of electronic instruments.

Brittle folk melody, however, was quickly to be superseded by a more forceful idiom in the boundary zone between jazz and rock, inspired partly by her collaboration with guitarist and singer David Crosby and, later on, with experimental musicians, especially from the West Coast. Her piano playing is set off by an instrumentation of gathering density, tinged for example by the addition of wind instruments. With Woodstock, which if anything is a hymn to the contemporary Love and Peace movement, she achieved total international recognition.

In a remarkable partnership in 1979 with one of her greatest mentors, the legendary bass player Charlie Mingus, Joni Mitchell moves closer to jazz again, and her next LP, Mingus gives proof of her astonishing capacity for transcending musical boundaries and, on that particular occasion, combining swing, modern jazz and folk music with a dash of straight rock'n'roll. The list of players in itself illustrates the link between rock and jazz: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius and Peter Erskine. More recent, illuminating compositions like Chalk Mark in A Rain Storm (1988), Night Ride Home (1991) and the album Turbulent Indigo (1994) bear witness to an unfailing capacity for breaking new artistic ground.