News archive

JoniMitchell.com has been bringing you the news on Joni since the day the website went live in 1996. It's all archived and searchable here. In addition to the news, you can find an archive of "upcoming tributes and events" that have been listed on the site as well.

News archive

The Polaris Music Prize, established in 2006, is an annual award honoring albums by Canadian artists, based on artistic merit rather than sales. But what about all those great Canadian albums that came out before the Polaris Music Prize existed? Well, those records also get some love, courtesy of the Polaris Heritage Prize.

The (Canadian) Heritage award, which was first presented last year, is for albums that would likely have been nominated for the Polaris Prize had it been around back in the day. Ten albums are nominated from each of four time periods: 1960-1975, 1976-1985, 1986-1995 and 1996-2005.

This year's nominees in the 1960-1975 period include Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, Neil Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and After the Gold Rush, The Band's Music from Big Pink and its self-titled effort, Gordon Lightfoot's Lightfoot! and Leonard Cohen's Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Cast your vote through mid-October.

We are thrilled to see Joni out and about again! Last night she attended a Chick Corea concert at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Los Angeles. L-R: Joni, Chick Corea, Gayle Moran Corea, Herbie Hancock. (Photo by Toshi Sakurai)

Christopher Cross is working on a new album, and has completed a track called "Roberta" - a tribute to Joni. He's offered to share it with the Joni community, saying "'Roberta' is the first [song] I have completed [on my new album], which is very much influenced by her later work 'Hejira' and beyond." Thanks to Christopher for sharing this preview with the community, we hear the influence!

play  Roberta by Christopher Cross

Joni said in 2006 (in a video message broadcast during Prince's induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame) "Prince. The most amazing performer I have ever witnessed." Prince was also a big fan of Joni's and said that The Hissing of Summer Lawns was "the last album I loved all the way through." As Joni remembered, "Prince attended one of my concerts in Minnesota. I remember seeing him sitting in the front row when he was very young. He must have been about 15. Prince used to write me fan mail with all of the U's and hearts that way that he writes." Prince credited Joni with teaching him "about color and sound." He quoted "Help Me" in his song, "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker." An album by his side project band, The Time, was named Ice Cream Castle. And he covered "A Case of You," with "U" spelled the Prince way, of course. JoniMitchell.com wishes to express its condolences to Prince's family, friends, and fans.

Before his death last week, Sir George Martin and his son Giles teamed with PBS to create an upcoming eight-part documentary series called "Soundbreaking." The series features interviews with over 150 artists and producers, who tell the studio stories behind some of the best music ever made.

The first two episodes of the show are premiering today at SXSW. The series will air on PBS in November.

The series will feature interviews with Paul McCartney, Brian Eno, Nile Rodgers, Quincy Jones, Rick Rubin, Tony Visconti, RZA, Joni Mitchell, Dave Grohl, Questlove, Bon Iver, Beck, Ad-Rock, Roger Waters, Daniel Lanois, Mark Ronson, Ringo Starr, Roger Daltrey, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Debbie Harry, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and many others.

Joni already has a new Grammy Award as the pre-show honours were handed out in Los Angeles today. The legendary singer-songwriter won for best album notes on Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced.

Fellow Canadians Jan Haust, a native of London, Ont., and Hamilton's Peter Moore captured the honour for best historical album for The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, featuring the music of Bob Dylan and Toronto's The Band. The duo shared the award with Steve Berkowitz, Jeff Rosen and Mark Wilder.

Chaka Khan relays good news about Joni in an interview published today: "...we're good friends and she's doing very well, by the way. I want everyone to know that she's getting better and better every day." Read the interview and news about Chaka's upcoming Joni tribute album here.

Joni has been nominated for a Grammy for "Best Album Notes" for her "Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced" release. You can read the notes here.

Joni has been nominated in the fourth annual Older People in the Media Awards run by older people’s charity, Independent Age, in collaboration with Gransnet, the social network for the UK’s 14 million grandparents. She has been nominated in the “Everyday ageism hero” category for her work with Yves Saint Laurent.

The other nominees in this category are: L'Oréal for Age Perfect campaign with Dame Helen Mirren, and Other Stories and Vans collaboration for SS2015 campaign with Daphne Selfe.

Nominations were put forward by members of Gransnet and the winner in each of the three categories will be decided by a public vote. CAST YOUR VOTE HERE!

The Older People in the Media awards are a celebration of the best representations of older people’s issues in the media. They hope to shine a light on the characters, marketing campaigns and individuals that have either positively portrayed older people, or sensitively highlighted the issues they face.

Winners from previous years have included, among others, Dame Judi Dench for her role in the film Philomena and Anne Reid for her portrayal of the character Celia in Last Tango in Halifax.

Buenas noticias! Malka Marom's book "Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words" is currently being translated to be released in both Spanish and Chinese. Malka told JoniMitchell.com "This book was meant to be my birthday present for Joni's 70th. Almost as a personal gift from me to all who love Joni's work and would appreciate and celebrate this insight into her unique brilliant genius. So imagine how happy I am that now, approaching Joni's 72nd birthday, I find that it would be translated into Spanish and Chinese!" Chinese rights have been sold to Jiangsu People’s Publishing House in a deal arranged by Acacia House Publishing Services and Big Apple Tuttle-Mori Agency. Release dates will be posted here when they are known.

Hey hippies! Pull that turntable out of storage and dust it off. Barnes & Noble is hosting a “Vinyl Day” on November 21st, where they’ll be stocking the stores with an abundance of LPs and generally celebrating the vinyl format that they are now supporting. They'll have Blue and Hejira vinyl stock in all of their stores for the event. Relive those moments 39 and 45 years ago when you first picked up shrink-wrapped copies of the classics. The only differences will be the price... and, you know, the fact that you're old now.

One of Joni's guitars from the '79 and '83 tours is up for auction. It is an Ibanez George Benson GB10 guitar in brown sunburst. The inlays are mother-of-pearl, with "Joni Mitchell" engraved at the 21st fret. The interior label is signed by George Benson, serial number D794944. The guitar is accompanied by a copy of a letter signed by Joni, stating that this is one of six guitars played on the Shadows & Light and Refuge tours. The auction will be held on November 7, 2015. More information here.

No news about Joni today - but when there is you can be alerted by email. Register at the site (free), log in, then click the "MyPage" link. You'll notice the "My Alerts" section where you can choose to be alerted by email whenever various new content is added to the site. Real good emails, for free.

Official news about Joni is as hard for us to get as it is for anybody else. But Judy Collins has recently posted the following encouraging note to her Facebook page: "I have just heard from a close mutual friend that Joni is walking, talking, painting some, doing much rehab every day, and making good progress -- I have another friend who went through something similar - it does take a long time, three years for my friend, who has really totally recovered professionally and personally. I will try my best to see our songbird when I am in LA in the coming weeks." Continue to send your well-wishes to Joni at WeLoveYouJoni.com.

Albums by Joni Mitchell, Cowboy Junkies, Sloan and Peaches have been chosen by the public as the inaugural winners of Canada’s Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize.

A five-titled short list per time period was initially selected by a jury of 25 people from the music media and industry before the lists were released to the public for them to vote online.

They chose: Blue by Joni Mitchell ('60s & '70s), The Trinity Session by Cowboy Junkies ('80s), Twice Removed by Sloan (90s) and The Teaches of Peaches by Peaches ('00s, 2000-2005).

"This is the Polaris version of a hall of fame. As with the main Prize, we hope this award will lead to more discussion and discovery of timeless recorded art from our history," said Polaris founder and executive director Steve Jordan.

JoniMitchell.com is sad to announce the passing of Arthur Kratzmann, an early and powerful influence on Joni's life. Joni dedicated her first album to him, writing a single line as the liner notes to the album - "This album is dedicated to Mr. Kratzmann, who taught me to love words." Joni speaks about him in this interview from the American Master Series entitled Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind.

Mr Kratzmann told Joni early in her life "if you can paint with a brush you can paint with words", a phrase Joni has repeated many times throughout her life - even using a version of it as a title for her special concert event from 1998. More on Arthur's life is in this interview from 2002.

Arthur is being honored with a special ceremony on October 10th. Our condolences and thoughts go out to his family at this time.