A Chronology of Appearances

This work-in-progress lists all currently known appearances, drawn from a variety of sources.
Researched, Compiled, and Maintained by Simon Montgomery, © 2001-2022.
Special thanks to Joel Bernstein for his contributions and assistance.
Latest Update: April 4, 2022
Please send comments, corrections or additions to: simon@icu.com

1979.09.09 Joni's next appearance Santa Barbara County Bowl Santa Barbara, CA

Portions of this concert were released on the live album
Shadows And Light. An edited videotape of the concert
was shown on the Showtime cable channel and later
released on videotape, laserdisc and DVD.

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  • DVD Featuring: Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny and Don Alias
  • Jaco Pastorius on Bass.
  • The Persuasions and Joni.
  • Video of Shadows and Light
  • Joni with Pat Metheny.
  • Photo by Bruce Ditchfield.
  • 1979 © Bruce Ditchfield

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JimmyB on

Joni Mitchell - Santa Barbara County Bowl, September 9, 1979

I was fortunate to work in the live music business in the 1970s and 80s. As a lighting/staging designer and production manager, I travelled with ABBA, Queen, The Rolling Stones and others. In September 1979 I was in LA preparing for ABBA's US tour - their only live shows in the USA. A good friend worked at the promoter's office in LA and had two tickets for Joni's Santa Barbara show. We drove up in the morning and went sailing for a few hours.

At the time I had little idea of the calibre of the band she had put together. Although I should have expected it really, having stood on the side of the stage during her performance while working on the 1974 CSNY concert at Wembley Stadium. I had been stunned by her band, and the new arrangements of old favourites - I wore out the grooves of my vinyl copy of Miles of Aisles.

Now, just the idea of Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius playing guitar and bass together would send most musical mouths watering!

The concert remains a fabulous memory for me, one of the best I have ever attended. Even now, all those years later, it still sounds fresh and beautiful, the entire band (and The Persuasions) using the space in the songs to masterfully explore the edges of folk, rock, jazz, soul and more.

So Season's Greetings to you Joni, with much love. Your legacy will shine for many more decades, probably centuries actually. Jimmy.


Allison on

Have been a Joni Mitchell fan ever since hearing "For the Roses" on the FM radio back in 1973-74. For the first time I heard lyrics that went beyond the "usual" lyrics; I heard poetry with concrete images. I followed her musical evolution closely after that. Her music was also an influence on my own guitar playing and composing. My older brother was a student at UCSB in 1979 and got me tickets to this concert. To say the least, I was in awe, of her and the caliber of her backup band. To this day, I still believe it is my voice singing in the background on "God Must be a Boogie Man" on the "Shadows and Light" live album.

Jazzhead on

This was the summer just before college, and my buddy Serge & I went to visit his sister at UC Santa Barbara and hear Joni with her group of jazz musicians as they interpreted some of her classics along with tunes off "Mingus".

We were both struck afterward with how this was one of the few instances (for us, anyway) where the live performance went far beyond the studio recordings. Jaco was astonishing; no one before or since could coax that kind of sound out of a bass. Michael Brecker was transcendent, effortless refrains beautifully etching the outlines of phrases in Hejira, and full-blown solos that were sublime. And Don Alias' incredible drum and conga work inspired me to take up percussion.

And there was Joni's gorgeous voice and guitar to bind them all in a powerful package that still resonates with me. One has to imagine that the egos accompanying all of these great musicians were of like scale, yet Joni galvanized them into a compelling collective that sounded as if they had been playing together for years.

I miss my good friend Serge, but I'm glad we shared this wonderful experience; it's a memory that I will always keep with me. Thank you, Joni.