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Scottish music festival reaches out to Joni Mitchell to perform Print-ready version

by Nan Spowart
The National (Scotland)
February 10, 2024

Joni Mitchell at the Grammy Awards 2024 (Image: PA)

Moves have been made to bring legendary singer Joni Mitchell to star at Celtic Connections, Scotland's renowned winter festival.

The Canadian singer-songwriter has made only a handful of appearances since suffering from a brain aneurysm in 2015 but last week wowed a worldwide audience by performing at the Grammys for the first time - despite winning 11 of the awards during her lengthy career.

She has now been booked to appear at the Hollywood Bowl in October, with another date added due to overwhelming demand.

He told the Sunday National: "We have been in touch and I think the question will be whether she feels fit enough to travel to that extent. I think it will come down to that.

"We knew last year she was coming back to perform so we just have to wait and hope they have a positive feeling about the travel. It is a waiting game really."

Shaw, who has long dreamed of booking Mitchell, admitted it would be a tremendous coup for the festival if she were to appear but believes she would be a "perfect" fit.

"She is an important artist in that she straddled various music styles back in the 60s and 70s," he said. "She wasn't just a folk artist as she was always exploring other genres. She has made so many great albums and her songwriting has stood the test of time.

"She is a hugely iconic artist for people interested in folk music generally and has a perfect place in a festival like Celtic Connections."

He added: "With artists like Mitchell, it is just getting the right space but there are so many variables at play that we'll just have to wait and see."

Bringing Mitchell to Celtic Connections may be ambitious but the singer has Scottish/Irish roots in the family of her mother, Myrtle McKee.

Born in 1943, Mitchell grew up in Saskatchewan and first sang in small Canadian nightclubs before moving to the US in 1965 and recording her first album, Song To A Seagull, in 1968.

One of the most influential singer-songwriters to emerge from the 1960s folk scene, she became known for the originality of her compositions which often incorporated jazz and pop elements. Hits included Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock and her 1971 album, Blue, is considered one of the greatest of all time. The New York Times described it as one of 25 albums that represented "turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music".

Mitchell co-produced or produced most of her albums and designed most of their covers.

Now 80 years old, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Her 2023 album At Newport won Best Folk Album at this year's Grammy Awards - where she performed Both Sides Now.

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Added to Library on February 19, 2024. (420)

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