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Albums by Joni Mitchell, Cowboy Junkies, Sloan and Peaches have been chosen by the public as the inaugural winners of Canada’s Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize.

A five-titled short list per time period was initially selected by a jury of 25 people from the music media and industry before the lists were released to the public for them to vote online.

They chose: Blue by Joni Mitchell ('60s & '70s), The Trinity Session by Cowboy Junkies ('80s), Twice Removed by Sloan (90s) and The Teaches of Peaches by Peaches ('00s, 2000-2005).

"This is the Polaris version of a hall of fame. As with the main Prize, we hope this award will lead to more discussion and discovery of timeless recorded art from our history," said Polaris founder and executive director Steve Jordan.

JoniMitchell.com is sad to announce the passing of Arthur Kratzmann, an early and powerful influence on Joni's life. Joni dedicated her first album to him, writing a single line as the liner notes to the album - "This album is dedicated to Mr. Kratzmann, who taught me to love words." Joni speaks about him in this interview from the American Master Series entitled Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind.

Mr Kratzmann told Joni early in her life "if you can paint with a brush you can paint with words", a phrase Joni has repeated many times throughout her life - even using a version of it as a title for her special concert event from 1998. More on Arthur's life is in this interview from 2002.

Arthur is being honored with a special ceremony on October 10th. Our condolences and thoughts go out to his family at this time.

JACO, a compelling story of prodigious talent, personal adventures and raw human vulnerability, will be released on November 27. 'JACO' presents the world of the bass guitar phenomenon Jaco Pastorius through the eyes of his family and various musical collaborators. Produced by the Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, and directed by Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak, this blistering biopic contains incredible unseen footage and photography from the Pastorius family archive, and takes viewers into the heart and soul of this hugely influential cross-genre artist. Featuring interviews with an array of artists (Flea, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee) and friends, 'JACO' unveils the story of his music, his life, his demise, and ultimately the fragility of great artistic genius. More information here.

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Upcoming tributes and events

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In 1971, Joni Mitchell released "Blue," a collection of songs Rolling Stone magazine would later rank No. 30 among its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

That year, Carole King's "Tapestry," No. 36 on Rolling Stone's list, also came out, eventually spending 15 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart and chalking up four Grammy Awards and more than 10 million U.S. sales.

And Carly Simon picked up the 1971 Best New Artist Grammy, before "You're So Vain" dropped in '72 and spawned one of rock and roll's great mysteries— who was she singing about? — on its way to ranking No. 82 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time list.

All of that, and the fact that all three women came into occasionally overlapping orbits around James Taylor — Mitchell as a lover, King as a collaborator, Simon as a wife — is covered in sweeping detail in the 2009 tome, "Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — and the Journey of a Generation."

Some of it is celebrated in "Girls Like Us," a cabaret-style show coming to Park Forest and the Freedom Hall Matinee Theatre series at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13. More info here.

Sweet Fire: The Joni Mitchell Project features the very best of Mitchell’s songs – from ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, ‘Woodstock’ and ‘Both Sides Now’ to ‘The Jungle Line’ and ‘God Must Be a Boogie Man’. Translated into exquisite Irish by poets Liam Ó Muirthile and Gabriel Rosenstock, they will be performed by singer Caitríona O’Leary. She will be accompanied by Dick Farrelly (guitars), Nick Roth (saxophone), Dave Redmond (bass) and Graham Hopkins (drums). Margaret Lonergan has created stunning screen projections of the lyrics. More info

Kiwi songstress Julia Deans is raring to take the stage in Wairarapa once again after many moons away; this time around paying homage to singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

The Both Sides Now show will comprise "interpretations of about 15 or 16 of JM's amazing songs", she said, and will also feature guitarist Paul McLaney, multi-instrumentalist Sean "SJD" Donnelly, drummer Tom Broome, and pianist Robin Kelly. More information here.

Robin Adler and Mutts of the Planet to perform FOR THE ROSES. Dizzy's, San Diego CA. 8pm. Sat Nov 7th (Joni’s birthday) 4275 Mission Bay Drive, San Diego. 858.270.7467

Robin Adler (vocals), Dave Blackburn (guitars) and Barnaby Finch (piano) will perform Joni’s For the Roses album in an intimate setting. More info...

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