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

In August of 1970, Joni traveled to the Four Corners region of the American Southwest to visit James on the set of Two-Lane Blacktop, his first and only starring acting role. While filming on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Taylor wrote “You Can Close Your Eyes” for Mitchell and performed the song live in October 1970 when they were in Vancouver to play at Amchitka, a benefit concert supporting Greenpeace’s protest against nuclear weapons tests at Amchitka, Alaska.

Taylor played the song again a few days later at the Paris Theatre in London on October 29, 1970, where he and Mitchell sang it together. Their performance was recorded (and later broadcast on December 27) for “In Concert,” a weekly show on BBC Radio hosted by famed British DJ John Peel.

Today it's being released digitally. Read the full press release here.

Reservoir Media has signed a new deal with Joni, which sees the company become the worldwide administrator of her publishing catalog.

The nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter's catalog was previously administered by Sony Music Publishing, following a worldwide deal struck 24 years ago in 1997.

"I'm looking forward to working with Reservoir," said Joni.

Reservoir Founder & CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi added: "I am so proud to welcome Joni Mitchell to our Reservoir family. Joni is a musical pioneer and a once-in-a-lifetime creator, and we look forward to safeguarding her catalog and championing her legacy." More information here.

Joni scholars will recognize the name Frankie McKitrick. Joni: "The first record that I had to have was a classical piece of music. At that time we were living in North Battleford, and my best friend was a musical prodigy, Frankie McKitrick. His feet could barely reach the pedals of the church organ but he could play the thing. And we had gone to a movie. It was called “The Story of Three Loves” and the theme was Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme” by Paganini. Beautiful melody. I had to have that record. That was my first piece of inspirational music..." Frankie passed away on August 9.

LOS ANGELES - On February 1, 1969, almost a year after Joni Mitchell released her debut album Song to a Seagull, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter was standing on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City playing the first major concert of her young career for a sold-out crowd that included Bob Dylan. Graham Nash, who was Mitchell's partner at the time, was there too, along with her parents visiting from Canada. Her performance that night earned glowing reviews, including this one from Billboard's Fred Kirby:

"Joni Mitchell charmed a packed Carnegie Hall audience on Saturday...Miss Mitchell doesn't merely sing a song, the fine folk artist effectively interprets her material. And what a lineup of material! Beginning with 'Chelsea Morning" and ending with a medley of 'The Circle Game' and the new 'Little Green,' the outstanding material flowed."

Fatefully, her label Reprise Records recorded the entire concert with plans to release it. More than 50 years later, the show will finally make its long-awaited debut on November 12 as part of JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES VOL. 2: THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971). On the same day, the performance will be released separately as a 3-LP set on 180-gram vinyl for $59.98, with an exclusive 180-gram, white vinyl version, limited to 3,000 copies, available at www.JoniMitchell.com. The vinyl showcases the full audio across five LP sides with the sixth side featuring an etching of the American eagle that donned Mitchell's skirt at the Carnegie Hall show. As a preview, Mitchell's performance of "Chelsea Morning" from the show is available today digitally. Listen here.

MusiCares announced today that Joni has been chosen as the 2022 MusiCares Person of the Year. Mitchell is the honoree of the 31st annual Person of the Year benefit gala.

Proceeds from the event will provide essential support for MusiCares, the leading music charity providing music professionals health and human services across a spectrum of needs. The tribute will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sat, January 29, 2022, two nights before the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"We are so excited to bring together an amazing line-up of artists to celebrate the musical legacy of Joni Mitchell," said Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares. "She is being honored not only for her iconic music and lyrics, but for her trailblazing spirit and the inspiration she's brought to so many artists."

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. It includes a reception and silent auction, offering an exclusive selection of one-of-a-kind items for bidding guests, followed by a dinner and tribute concert, featuring renowned musicians and other artists paying tribute to Mitchell.

"I’m honored to be chosen as person of the year by this great charity,” said Joni, “I look forward to being part of this gala that will help MusiCares continue their inspired work in providing a support system for those in need.” More information here.

On March 19, 1968, a 24-year-old Joni Mitchell was in the midst of a two-week residency at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, playing to rave reviews in anticipation of her debut album, Song To A Seagull, which was set for release just a few days later on Reprise. Not long before Mitchell was scheduled to take the stage, Jimi Hendrix was just finishing his second sold-out show of the night at the Capitol Theater a few blocks away. Earlier in the day, Hendrix had spoken to Mitchell and noted his plans to record her in his diary entry for that day:

“talked with Joni Mitchell on the phone. I think I’ll record her tonight with my excellent tape recorder (knock on wood) . . . hmmm . . . can’t find any wood . . . everything’s plastic”

Following his two performances on that night, Hendrix rolled in to Le Hibou with his reel-to-reel recorder as promised and kneeled in front of the stage, unnoticed by most, and recorded Mitchell’s two sets that evening. As he also noted in his diary, Hendrix, like many others at the time, was mesmerized by Mitchell: “fantastic girl with heaven words.”

Were you in attendance at this event? Let's talk!

Listen to the entire song on this page, and read the press release here.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced its 44th lifetime achievement award winners. They are: Motown founder Berry Gordy, opera star Justino Díaz, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, entertainer Bette Midler and television impresario Lorne Michaels, who created Saturday Night Live. More information here.

Tomorrow will be the 50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s masterpiece, Blue. To celebrate, Rhino is releasing two new collections that offer different perspectives on one of the greatest albums ever made and the inspired period of creativity that made it possible.

Rhino kicks off the celebration today with the release of BLUE 50 (DEMOS & OUTTAKES), a digital EP that debuts five unreleased recordings (see visualization at right) from the making of Blue that will appear on the upcoming Archives collection. The striking cover of the BLUE 50 EP features the original Blue color treatment with a previously unseen alternate photo of Mitchell by Tim Considine from the same session as the original.

All five of these tracks will also be included in JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES VOL. 2: THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971), which will be released on October 29 as a 5-CD set ($64.98). The music will be available the same day exclusively at JoniMitchell.com as a 10-LP set ($249.98) on 180-gram vinyl that will be limited to 4,000 copies. Any ARCHIVES VOL.2 music product purchased on the official Joni Mitchell store comes with an exclusive 7”x7” art print featuring a never-before-seen illustration by Mitchell from the era. More information here.

Patrick Sky was an American singer songwriter, folk musician, guitarist, producer, and accomplished builder and player of the Irish uilleann pipes. Patrick was of Irish and Cree Indian descent- a seminal figure, along with Eric Anderson and Buffy Sainte-Marie, in the folk music revival in the mid-1960s. Notably, Patrick produced recordings by the legendary blues guitarist and singer Mississippi John Hurt for Vanguard Records.

Joni and Patrick were on the same billing at least twice, once on the Let's Sing Out program in October of 1965, and again at a Syracuse University gig in December of 1969. Patrick was the inspiration for song The Last Time I Saw Richard, as revealed in Michelle Mercer's 2009 book Will You Take Me As I Am: "...this is where that song came from,” [Joni] said. “Patrick Sky, a fellow folksinger, said to me one night in a bar in New York, 'Oh, Joni, you're a hopeless romantic. There's only one way for you to go. Hopeless cynicism. That one little nugget became the song."

Patrick died this morning in Ashville, North Carolina, surrounded by family. He was 77 years old. [Photo by David Gahr, 1965]

Joni Mitchell & Rhino announce a new, limited-edition LP of material culled from the recent acclaimed set, 'Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1968).' This 12-song LP is strictly limited to 15,000 copies and will be available in stores starting June 12, 2021 for RSD Drops.

Side 1:
House of the Rising Sun
Pastures of Plenty
Seven Daffodils
Urge for Going
Day After Day
The Circle Game

Side 2:
Both Sides Now
Born To Take the Highway
Blue On Blue
Strawflower Me
Chelsea Morning
I Don't Know Where I Stand

All tracks previously released on the 5-CD box set Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), Rhino box set. Check your local independent record store!

On June 22, 1971, Joni released Blue, concluding her prolific four-album run for Reprise Records with an album considered by many to be one of the greatest of all time. Its stirring songs have been celebrated by music lovers and critics alike for decades while inspiring a wide variety of artists as diverse as Prince and Taylor Swift. Even today, its stature as a masterpiece continues to grow. Just last year, the album was named #3 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

To celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary, Rhino is releasing THE REPRISE ALBUMS (1968- 1971), featuring newly remastered versions of Blue (1971) and the three albums that came before it: Song To A Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), and Ladies Of The Canyon (1970). In the case of Song To A Seagull, the original mix has been recently updated by Joni and mixer Matt Lee. “The original mix was atrocious,” says Joni. “It sounded like it was recorded under a jello bowl, so I fixed it!”

THE REPRISE ALBUMS (1968-1971) will be available on July 2 in 4-CD and 4-LP 180-gram vinyl (Limited Edition of 10,000) versions, as well as digitally. The newly remastered version of “A Case Of You” from Blue is available today on all digital download and streaming services. Pre-order the CD or LP version of THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971) from JoniMitchell.com and you'll also receive an exclusive limited edition 7” x 7” print of the self-portrait featured on the cover art.

Read the press release here and visit the store for more information.

Joni Mitchell's 75th birthday celebration concert from Music Center LA is coming to select theater locations as a Private Watch Party! Through April 22, you can safely gather up to 20 friends in your own auditorium to see Brandi Carlile, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Seal, Rufus Wainwright and more light up the big screen with incredible musical performances from throughout Joni's remarkable career.

More information on booking your screening here.

SFJAZZ announces new members of the award-winning SFJAZZ Collective – saxophonist and music director Chris Potter, vocalist Lizz Wright, bassist Aneesa Strings, and drummer Kendrick A.D. Scott. This lineup will explore the music of Joni Mitchell in 2021 and is planning tours in 2022. Formed in 2004, SFJAZZ Collective lineup also includes tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, trumpeter Etienne Charles, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, and pianist Edward Simon.

During the Spring of 2021, the SFJAZZ Collective will explore the music of iconic singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell who received the 2015 SFJAZZ Lifetime Achievement Award. Mitchell is a singular artist with deep connections to the jazz continuum whose work continues to have an extraordinary impact on popular culture. The SFJAZZ Collective is currently in the studio, virtually, recording innovative versions of her classic songs as well as new compositions inspired by her legacy. This material will be the basis for the band’s upcoming album to be released in Fall 2021. The group is making plans to present this material in 2022 on US and international tours.

More information here. Press release here.

"It is well known that Joni Mitchell and her engineer and creative catalyst Henry Lewy worked as a partnership to make all of her 1970s albums, in a pretty closed door operation. However, on Hejira, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter and Mingus, a third production partner was involved, from running the tape machine to mic placement, from tracking through mixing - A&M staff engineer Steve Katz.

"Steve was at A&M from 1974 to 1983, nine important years in the booming record business at that time, and he helped create some of the great albums of that time coming out of Los Angeles." -Dave Blackburn

Steve passed away on January 28. Read more here. [Photo L-R: Steve, Henry Lewy, Joni]

Beginning in New York City as a teenager, Sherry chronicled the artists redefining what pop music was as the 60s gave way to the 70s for various underground magazines. Early iconic photographs of Tina Turner, Joni, James Taylor, and Laura Nyro created trust and opened doors for revelatory images of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt.

By the time she arrived in Los Angeles, the Troubadour scene was full-force. Sherry, who plays a blue Fender Stratocaster, was on the frontlines of the rock, pop, folk and Laurel Canyon country-rock scenes as much a fellow musician as a photographer documenting the music.

A great coffee table addition for all Joni and Troubadour completists! More information here.

"As the first staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1960s, he captured some of the most enduring faces of the era in their prime: Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Janis Joplin, Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Grateful Dead and Steve Miller, among others.

On Oct. 4, Wolman posted a grim message on social media saying that in 2019 he was diagnosed with ALS - the terminal motor-neuron illness better known as Lou Gehrig's disease - and was nearing the end of his life.

"Sad to say I'm now in the final sprint to the end," he wrote. "I go forward with a huge amount of gratitude for the many blessings bestowed upon me... with no regrets, and appreciation for how my photographs - my life's work - have been received."

He died at his home in Santa Fe, N.M., on Monday, Nov. 2, Dianne Duenzl, his representative, said in a statement. He was 83.
-Aidin Vaziri

Joni is opening her vault for the first time to create the Joni Mitchell Archives, a new series of boxed set releases that will span the next several years, featuring deep dives into unreleased content from different eras of her storied career. Joni has been intimately involved in producing the archive series, lending her vision and personal touch to every element of the project. The first set is being officially announced today, to be released October 30. Click the new STORE link above for special exclusive website offers.