Joni Mitchell was at Toronto's Luminato Festival on Sunday to particpate in a rare and in-depth Q&A session, one of several scheduled events focusing on the influential folk/pop/jazz artist at the creative-arts fest. The acclaimed singer/songwriter spoke with New York Times music critic Jon Pareles about a variety of topics, including her childhood struggle with polio and other illnesses, her musical and artistic influences and inspirations, her unique approach to writing and playing music, her painting and much more.
Among the interesting revelations Joni shared during the hour-and-a-half chat was that she once pulled the plug on a proposed film project about her by telling the director that the movie would be "a piece of s**t" because he didn't know enough specifics about her life. A video of the entire interview can be viewed at the Luminato Festival's official YouTube channel.
The festival also is hosting a pair of tribute concerts for Mitchell in honor of her upcoming 70th birthday this November 7. The shows, titled Joni: A Portrait in Song, will take place Tuesday and Wednesday night at Toronto's famed Massey Hall. Mitchell herself will recite a poem she wrote recently that was inspired by early 20th century Canadian painter Emily Carr, with accompaniment from jazz drummer Brian Blade and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. Other musicians scheduled to perform at the concerts include Herbie Hancock, Glen Hansard, Rufus Wainwright and Esperanza Spalding.
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