CHICAGO, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A rare and intimate performance by the legendary singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, with special guest Peter Yarrow, will inaugurate the Old Town School of Folk Music's new home, the Chicago Folk Center, at 4544 North Lincoln Avenue, on Friday evening, September 18, 1998, at 8 p.m. The grand opening benefit concert will be performed in the Old Town School's new, state-of-the-art, 425-seat concert hall and marks Ms. Mitchell's first Chicago appearance in more than ten years. Concert tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and include a pre-concert gala dinner. For ticket information, please call the Old Town School at 773-525-7793. The concert marks the start of the School's Chicago Folk Center inaugural season, generously sponsored by Sara Lee Foundation.
The concert also kicks off the Old Town School of Folk Music Grand Opening Festival, the weekend of September 18-20, celebrating the School's new 43,000-square-foot home. The public is invited to visit the Chicago Folk Center at two free open house events, Saturday, September 19, and Sunday, September 20, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., including participatory workshops, featured performances, informative demonstrations and tours. Main stage performers over the weekend include Special Consensus (bluegrass), Sons of the Never Wrong (folk), Jackie Allen Band (jazz), Bucktown Barbecue Band (blues), Efambody (music of Senegal), Sones de Mexico, Larry Nugent & Friends (Irish), and more. Family stage performers will include Jodi Koplin, Linda Robertson, Mark Dvorak, Ralph Covert, Sandy Lucas, Reggio the Hoofer, and the Old Town School Kids in performance.
Saturday evening, September 19, a special surprise guest (to be revealed shortly) will take the stage at 8 p.m., in the first public concert at the Chicago Folk Center. Sunday afternoon, September 20, will be a special Old Town School Reunion concert with Ray Nordstrand, School Founder Frank Hamilton, Fred Holstein, Corky Siegel, Ella Jenkins, Jim & Janet Post, Mark Dvorak, Bonnie Koloc, Ed Holstein and other members of the Old Town School family.
The inaugural season momentum continues through December, with a series of exciting headliners and monthly free, open houses.
Fans of folk, world, and acoustic music will have reason to rejoice as the Old Town School of Folk Music, America's oldest permanent school of folk music, unveils its new $7 million home -- the Chicago Folk Center -- dramatically expanding the concert, education and resource facilities which have made the School a national folk music authority in its 41-year history. The expansion, spanning 43,000 square feet over four floors, will offer students and concertgoers a new concert hall, double the number of teaching spaces now available at the School's current home at 909 West Armitage, an enlarged music and information resource center and a public cafe. The 909 West Armitage site will remain open as the Old Town School of Folk Music's Children's Center.
The Old Town School is honored to present as the inaugural performer in its new home, Joni Mitchell, arguably the most talented female singer-songwriter of the Woodstock era and beyond. Born Roberta Jean Anderson in November 1943 in Alberta, Canada, Joni Mitchell turned to folk singing while at art school and performed in the folk clubs of Toronto's Yorktown area. From there, she became a regular on the East Coast folk circuit with her then folksinger-husband, Chuck Mitchell, and some of her earliest songs were recorded by Judy Collins and Tom Rush. Mitchell's numerous hits, such as Both Sides Now, Woodstock, and Big Yellow Taxi, span 30 years of one of the most influential recording careers in contemporary music. A Reprise/Warner Bros. recording artist since her first release, JONI MITCHELL, in 1968, Ms. Mitchell is putting the finishing touches on her latest, TAMING THE TIGER.
The Old Town School Grand Opening Festival weekend is sponsored by the Carlucci Hospitality Group, Draft Worldwide, the Richard Driehaus Foundation, WFMT-FM, and WXRT-FM.
For more information on Grand Opening Festival activities, please call the Old Town School of Folk Music at 773-525-7793.