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

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.

Saskatoon Councillor Ann Iwanchuk will seek support next week for her proposal to name the promenade at River Landing in Saskatoon for Joni. City council and others in the community have struggled for years to find a suitable way to honour her. If approved by council, the designation would apply to the stretch of walkway next to Spadina Crescent from Second Avenue to Third Avenue. The section of walkway lies directly south of a condo-hotel-office development on a plot of land known as Parcel Y, and leads to Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan.

Artist Gary Burden, who played a significant role in composing some of the most iconic album covers of our time, has passed away at 84 years old. Joni fans may be surprised to learn that he designed the cover to the album Blue. "This was such an honour for me" he said, "that is the only cover of Joni’s that she didn’t make herself and I got to make it. I knew the title was Blue and what I wanted to do was to make it look like old Ferro cyanotype from the 1880s, which was this blue colour, and I figured out how to make it look like that."

The first in the Alberta Ballet's series of portrait ballets, The Fiddle and The Drum, dedicated to Joni, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a tour. Created with input from Joni herself, The Fiddle and the Drum offers a contemporary interpretation of 14 of her songs, including three that were written for the piece. Performances are May 1-4 in Calgary, and May 9-11 in Edmonton. More information here

3rd Avenue in Saskatoon is decked out today with a series of street posters in honor of Joni. Tonight, the Saskatoon Symphony is honoring Joni with a concert of her music featuring Vince Mendoza, Sarah Slean, and Peter Erskine. Stay tuned for a review of this amazing evening on JoniMitchell.com in the coming days. (Photos by Mike Sainsbury)

Joni graces the cover of the newest edition of UNCUT - the UK music magazine - released today. "50 years after the release of her debut album, Uncut tells the full story of the singer, songwriter and guitarist’s remarkable rise to fame – from the Newport Folk Festival, via New York clubs to the hillside cottages of Laurel Canyon. 'She was stunningly good, right off the bat,' says David Crosby." For those who can't find it in stores, the digital edition is available.

The cover of Susan Whitall's new book "Joni on Joni: Interviews and Encounters with Joni Mitchell" has been revealed. The book will be released on November 6, the day before Joni's 75th birthday. We'll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

In December 2015, the Smithsonian called on rock and roll lovers around the world to collect photos and stories of their favorite moments in music. Fans dug through attics, basements, closets, shoeboxes, digital cameras, and photo albums to contribute. Artists ranging from the Who to Nirvana to Chuck Berry to the Jimi Hendrix and many more are celebrated in the resulting book entitled "Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen". There is a photo of Joni included in the book taken by Jim Marshall that we had not seen before!

Verve and UMe will reissue Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters for its 10th anniversary this Friday, December 15. The original album, mostly featuring songs of Joni Mitchell, will be paired with a bonus EP of four additional recordings from the sessions. Two of them – covers of “A Case of You” and “All I Want” – were previously only available on an Amazon-exclusive pressing of the album, while the other pair, “Harlem In Havana” and “I Had a King,” were exclusive to iTunes. More information here.

The multiple fires threatening southern California have forced nearly 200,000 people in the Los Angeles and Ventura areas to evacuate. Those concerned about Joni can rest assured that she is safe and out of harm's way.

Jon Hendricks, a jazz singer who became famous in the 1950s with the vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross by putting lyrics to well-known jazz instrumentals and turning them into vocal tours de force, died today in New York City. He was 96. Joni often cites the group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross as a major early influence. Joni recorded their song Twisted on Court and Spark, the first song not written by herself that she released on one of her albums.

In a 1986 interview, Joni said "Friends of mine who were older than me and in college began talking about Lambert, Hendricks and Ross as the hottest new sound in jazz. Their record flipped me out, but it was already out of print. I had to finally buy it off somebody and pay a lot, maybe fifteen dollars, which was unheard of at that time. But you couldn't get the record anywhere. Lambert, Hendricks and Ross were my Beatles. In high school, theirs was the record I wore thin, the one I knew all the words to."