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 saga of Woody, Buzz and the gang continues. Disney and Pixar released the first trailer to "Toy Story 4." The dreamy teaser features everyone's favorite toys floating through the air. The sequence is set to "Both Sides Now."

Followers of the radio show "Live From Here" will notice that Chris Thile and friends saluted Joni on yesterday's show with a rendition of "Help Me." It begins at 1:25:19

The beautiful 11x14 inch hardcover version of Norman Seeff's book, currently available for pre-orders at $60, will increase to the retail price of $75 on October 24. The signed version will remain at $100 & the Collectors Edition at $650 and Seeff will add a personalized greeting for those who order either of these versions via the website and provide the name(s) for the greeting.

The Music Center has added James Taylor and Brandi Carlile to the previously announced line-up of singers and musicians who will honor Joni Mitchell on her 75th birthday as part of JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration Live at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on November 6 and 7. A limited number of additional tickets have been released and are going fast.

James Taylor and Brandi Carlile will join Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Graham Nash, Seal, and Rufus Wainwright to perform songs from Mitchell’s prolific career. Co-musical directors providing the musical arrangements for the evenings are drummer Brian Blade, who recorded three studio albums and toured extensively with Mitchell, and, pianist, composer, arranger producer Jon Cowherd.

In August of 1969, a dairy farm in the state of New York hosted a pivotal moment in the history of pop music. Taking place only two years after the "Summer of Love” and one year after the tumultuous events of 1968, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair put an exclamation point on the transformational decade of the 1960s.

Joni did not attend Woodstock, but her song of the same name captures an opposition inherent to the turbulent and divisive era. “We are stardust...caught in the devil’s bargain, ...and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

For the 50th anniversary of this event, join us at Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee for a campus-wide celebration featuring concerts, clinics, exhibits, films, and speakers.

We are currently accepting submissions for symposium speaker proposals. The committee hopes that Mitchell's evocative lyrics inspire a similarly wide-ranging set of proposals. For more information, see the Call for Papers.

Max Bennett's first professional gig was in 1949, and throughout his long career he played with such legends as Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, George Harrison, Joan Baez, Joni, and many more. Max is often associated with the famous 'Wrecking Crew', a loose collective of session musicians based in Los Angeles whose services were employed for thousands of studio recordings in the 1960s and early 1970s.

In 1973, Bennett, along with Tom Scott, founded the L.A. Express which served as the core band for Joni's Court and Spark album. A subsequent iteration of the group backed Joni on her 1974 tour which spawned the live Miles of Aisles album.

Max states on his website: "I feel that the relationship with Joni was the pinnacle of great music and total fun! She is a great lady!" Max was also interviewed for JoniMitchell.com in 2011 where he talked more about his time recording and touring with Joni.

Max Bennett was 90 years old. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

After many months with a team scanning & editing thousands of images, refining his selections, designing layouts and writing the text, Norman Seeff has now completed a book that celebrates Joni and their working relationship over 12 photo-sessions from 1972-1985. Their collaboration on albums, magazine covers and performance pieces reveal Joni’s fluid identity as a true artist in ways that few have managed to capture, before or since.

The book is timed for release in November 2018, in conjunction with a series of concerts celebrating Joni's 75th birthday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Norman is thrilled to make the book, a high quality lithographic poster and a new series of Limited Edition prints available via his own e-commerce store. It should be mentioned that this link (and the LA concerts) will be the first opportunity to get the book, and that this link offers many items that places such as Amazon will not have available.

Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography will be released on September 25. "Folk hero. Songwriter icon. Living legend. Buffy Sainte-Marie is all of these things and more. In this, Sainte-Marie's first and only authorized biography, music critic Andrea Warner draws from more than sixty hours of exclusive interviews to offer a powerful, intimate look at the life of the beloved artist and everything that she has accomplished in her seventy-seven years (and counting)." Joni has written the Foreword for the book, saying "whenever Buffy came to town I went down to the coffee house to hear her play. Her songs were so smart, so well-crafted, and her performances were stunning."

Today The Music Center announces two star-studded concerts, JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration Live at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on November 6 and November 7, 2018, featuring an incredible array of singers and musicians who will honor one of the world’s most remarkable artists, Joni Mitchell, on her 75th birthday. On both nights, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Graham Nash, Seal, and Rufus Wainwright, will perform songs from all stages of Mitchell’s life and career, across the entire oeuvre of her 19 studio albums. Co-musical directors, providing the musical arrangements for the evenings, are percussionist Brian Blade and pianist, composer, arranger, producer Jon Cowherd. Buy tickets now.

Following the second concert, on November 7, 2018, The Music Center will salute Mitchell on her birthday with The Music Center’s Soirée: JONI 75, a special celebration for her and a fundraiser for The Music Center’s artistic programming.

Read the full press release here.

Rolling Stone reports that "live performances by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, recorded at a student ministry on the University of Michigan campus in 1968, were among the professional-quality recordings unearthed by the Michigan History Project.

"Seven-inch reel-to-reel audio tapes featuring concerts by Tim Buckley, Odetta, David Ackles and Dave Van Ronk were also among the recordings made at the Canterbury House, an Ann Arbor, Michigan venue that hosted counterculture events in the mid to late-Sixties.

Joni performed at the Canterbury House on March 8, 9, and 10 in 1968. It's unclear as to which concert(s) have been found. Before the weekend of performances, someone scrawled across the advertisement "God is alive in Joni Mitchell".

"The Michigan History Project recently acquired the recordings, with the non-profit organization now seeking a record label interested in releasing the concerts."

More information here.

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto will feature a 6-part lecture series on Joni. Dr. Mike Daley tells Joni’s story in detail, exploring her Alberta and Saskatchewan upbringing, her early years in Toronto's burgeoning folk scene, her musical partnerships, and the romantic affairs and marriages that inspired some of her unforgettable compositions. He’ll examine the fascinating life and career of a Canadian icon.

Led by Dr. Mike Daley (Leonard Cohen: Words and Music, The Beatles and their World, Bob Dylan: Words and Music), a music historian and professional musician who has taught at Guelph, McMaster, Waterloo and York Universities.

October 15: Early years in Canada
October 22: Joni's breakthrough
October 29: Rock stardom
November 12: Jazz explorations
November 19: Navigating the changing pop landscape
November 26: Final works and legacy projects

More information here

In 1970 the Isle of Wight Festival was one of the largest musical events of its time. Bigger than Woodstock, and controversial from the get-go, hundreds of thousands of people descended on the island. Many of those without tickets set up camp on a hill overlooking the festival site, opposing the consumerism of the event and intent on taking the music back by any means necessary. It was a celebration of hippy counter culture gone awry, and in Joni's words "they fed me to the beast". Joni took to the stage to deliver an outstanding performance against all odds. At times it was a battle against the audience, as they tore down barriers and shouted obscenities. Her set was interrupted multiple times, including one man invading the stage to try address the crowd.

Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, Both Sides Now: Live At The Isle of Wight Festival features new interviews with Joni, discussing her recollections of the event intercut with festival footage, both onstage and behind the scenes, offering a fascinating insight into a now legendary concert from the artists point of view and putting the events of the day into context. The disc will be released on September 14, 2018

'Joni Mitchell: The Norman Seeff Sessions' is a new photo book to be published on November 6. Timed to release on Joni's 75th birthday, this collection of familiar and rare imagery tracks the pair's history together through these exclusive moments captured on film. A combination of album artwork and candid shots reveals Joni's personality in ways few have managed to capture before or since. Featuring commentary from Seeff on the enlightenment into his art that he gained from their sessions, this compilation is a true reflection on mutual creativity between artist and muse.

Tourism Saskatoon plans a live feed of the festivities on Sunday, we will link to the video here. Stay tuned for more information!

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot do a classic album dissection of Blue on today's episode of "Sound Opinions" from WBEZ-FM in Chicago, sharing the context of the record, exploring its lasting impact and looking in depth at its impressive track list. Listen here

On June 10th, two official installations will be unveiled that will provide permanent recognition to Joni Mitchell’s legacy and recognize Saskatoon as her hometown during her formative years. As part of this dual ceremony taking place that day, the public is invited to gather in front of the Broadway Theatre at 1:30pm to witness the unveiling of a plaque, then walk along the Broadway Bridge to River Landing to officially designate the promenade located between 2nd and 3rd Avenue at 2:30 pm as Joni Mitchell Promenade.

As a twist on “Random Acts of Kindness” Tourism Saskatoon invites all people to create and express themselves in “Random Acts of Culture” to recognize, celebrate, and animate the afternoon and pay homage to Ms. Mitchell as a creative force. Our intention is to create a free space for all people to share the strength and breadth of the Saskatoon arts community and express themselves through art. We invite anyone from the community with a passion for the arts to entertain the procession of people as they travel between the two points in any way they see fit - from singing songs, playing music, reading poetry, painting, dancing, and in general making the city come alive with everything short of “moons and Junes and Ferris wheels.”

A tribute to Joni will be held June 10 starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Broadway Theatre. At the event, a plaque will be unveiled in honour of the Louis Riel Coffee House — the Broadway Avenue café where Joni played her first paid gig.

From there, people are invited to walk a route Mitchell often travelled herself while growing up in Saskatoon through the mid-’50s and early ’60s: down Broadway Avenue heading across the Broadway Bridge and over to River Landing.

At 2:30 p.m., a ceremony will be held to name the riverfront pathway along the south side of Spadina Crescent East between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue the “Joni Mitchell Promenade.” Joni will be unable to travel to Saskatoon for the ceremony, but has said she feels honoured by the city’s gesture.

Official Press Release:

Saskatoon City Council announced today it will be naming a walkway along River Landing in recognition of the accomplishments of Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell Promenade will be located on the south side of Spadina Crescent East between Second and Third Avenues South.

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) will also be honouring Ms. Mitchell by awarding her an honorary degree on Monday June 4, 2018. Mitchell will be the first of eight outstanding honorary degree recipients that the U of S will be announcing tomorrow.

On Sunday June 10, 2018 there will be a public unveiling ceremony of the Joni Mitchell Promenade and a plaque on Broadway Avenue acknowledging the Louis Riel Coffee House where she used to play. Details of the ceremony and other events, including a live performance component, will be announced shortly by Tourism Saskatoon.

Read the full press release here.