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April 13, 2015

For Immediate Release

SFJAZZ Honors Joni Mitchell with Lifetime Achievement Award

SFJAZZ Center, San Francisco, CA, May 8, 2015

Musical Directors Brian Blade & Jon Cowherd lead all-star band with Kris Kristofferson, Joe Jackson, Patti Austin, Kurt Elling, Richard Bona, Tom Scott, Mark Isham, Laurie Antonioli, SFJAZZ Collective

Post-Gala Supper & Concert with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and SFJAZZ High School All-Stars

(San Francisco, CA, April 13, 2015) - SFJAZZ announces musical guests for its annual Gala on May 8, 2015 to honor Joni Mitchell for her artistic vision and contributions to modern music. Ms. Mitchell will be presented the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award by Wayne Shorter.

The Gala concert will feature special guests Kris Kristofferson, Joe Jackson, Patti Austin, Kurt Elling, Richard Bona, Tom Scott, Mark Isham, Laurie Antonioli, and SFJAZZ Collective interpreting Ms. Mitchell's groundbreaking work. Musical Directors Brian Blade and Jon Cowherd will lead an all-star backing band with Greg Leisz, Melvin Butler, Marvin Sewell, Kelly Jones, Christopher Thomas, Aaron Embry, and Jeff Haynes.

Following the Gala concert, guests will be treated to a late-night supper and musical performances by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue plus the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars.

Celebrities confirmed to attend include Rosanna Arquette, Winona Ryder, Ashley Judd, David Blaine, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Goldberg, Bobby Hutcherson, Phil Kaufman, Delroy Lindo, and Davia Nelson.

Premier patron tables and individual tickets are available at or contact Stephanie Garc├ęs at 415-283-0364 or

SFJAZZ is asking artists for video testimonials about Ms. Mitchell's influence on their music. The growing list of videos includes Jane Monheit, Taj Mahal, Mary Stallings, Lizz Wright, and more. These videos can be viewed at Fans can get involved on social media by using #thankyoujoni.

All proceeds from the SFJAZZ Gala 2015 will support SFJAZZ's artistic and education programs. The SFJAZZ Gala raised over $1.4 million in 2014. SFJAZZ Trustee Nion McEvoy and longtime SFJAZZ supporter Penny Coulter will serve as Co-Chairs for this year's Gala.

Ms. Mitchell's extensive collaborations with jazz artists are a hallmark of her far-ranging vision and iconic sensibilities. In the final project before his death, bassist Charles Mingus wrote six pieces for Joni Mitchell. Those compositions featuring lyrics by Ms. Mitchell are captured on the 1979 classic Mingus featuring jazz legends Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock (both previous recipients of the SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award). Her work with other groundbreaking artists including Jaco Pastorius, Tom Scott, Tony Williams, Pat Metheny, and Michael Brecker has led to a legacy that transcends pop and jazz music.

The mission of SFJAZZ is to celebrate the full spectrum of jazz as a living art form, built on a constantly evolving tradition. The organization has also championed openness and creativity in all forms of music. No artist better embodies constant evolution than Joni Mitchell. From her early days in the folk music scene of the 1960s to her recent collaboration with the Alberta Ballet, she is broadly recognized as one of the most influential and important artists in the history of modern music.

Over its 33 years of existence, the nonprofit SFJAZZ has become a worldwide leader in jazz presentation, creation and education, both fostering and inspiring the next generation of jazz audiences and musicians. The award-winning LEED Gold certified SFJAZZ Center, which opened in January of 2013 in San Francisco's vibrant Hayes Valley neighborhood, is the first free-standing building devoted and dedicated to jazz and has become a hub of art, music, culture, and community.

Media Contact: Marshall Lamm,, 510-928-1410.

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Added to Library on April 26, 2015. (6855)


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