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JONI MITCHELL, singer & songwriter   Print


Alberta Ballet
February 8, 2007

Published in the program for the opening night of the Ballet

Joni Mitchell is one of the most influential, multi-facetted artists of this generation and her music remains as timeless and relevant today as when she began her career some 42 years ago. This fact is demonstrated time and time again by the accolades of her peers, including her appointment to the Companion of the Order of Canada in 2004; an honorary Doctorate of Music from McGill University in 2004; a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to her at the Grammy Awards in 2002; her induction into the Rock N'Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; and the Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1996.

Throughout the years, Joni's songs have been covered and sampled by artists of all genres, from Counting Crows, Kanye West, and Diana Krall to Prince, Janet Jackson, James Taylor and Annie Lennox. Songs like Both Sides Now, The Circle Game and Big Yellow Taxi are indelibly etched into our cultural fabric, while her landmark explorations and interpretations of jazz have been lauded as nothing short of revolutionary. Her unique and highly influential guitar styling has been acknowledged in recent years by expert polls conducted by Mojo (who named her one of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time") and Rolling Stone magazines.

After leaving Canada for Los Angeles in 1966, Joni quickly became recognized as one of the most innovative and significant artists in the industry. Her third album, Ladies of the Canyon, sold a million copies in 1970. Joni followed that release with a series of landmark albums, including Blue, Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira, as well as Dog Eat Dog, which is as relevant today as it ever was, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter and {Mingus. Over the span of her career Joni has synthesized a diverse range of musical interests from folk, pop and rock and roll, to classical and jazz, producing many challenging and critically acclaimed works.

In 1996 she released her seventeenth album, Turbulent Indigo, and won a Grammy Award for both Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Album Package. That same year Joni was presented with the Govenor General's Performing Arts Award. She then toured with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison in one of the most celebrated tours of 1998. In 2000 she released the big band jazz standards album Both Sides Now and received another Grammy Award, this time for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.

Beyond her remarkable career in music, Joni is also a highly regarded visual artist, amassing an impressive collection of works, many of which were recently on display at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

An irrepressible creative force, Joni is currently recording new music, and has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.

 

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