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Joan Baez To Attend Folk Meet   Print

by Frank Gray
Winnipeg Free Press
July 24, 1969

TORONTO (CP) -- Folk-music buffs attending the ninth annual Mariposa Folk Festival this weekend will have a rare opportunity to see one of the biggest names in folk music -- Joan Baez.

They also will have the chance to compare her style with that of two Canadians who have achieved international popularity in the last year -- Joni Mitchell of Fort Macleod, Alta., and Gilles Vigneault of Natashquan, Que.

The decision by Miss Baez, the 28-year-old American singer and war protester, to appear represents something of a coup for festival organizers. Miss Baez has curtailed concert appearances in the last few years in favor of speaking engagements protesting the military draft and U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war. Her husband, David Harris, is serving a three-year sentence for refusing induction into the army.

Composer-singer Joni Mitchell will be making her fifth visit to the festival. Since her first appearance as a guitar-strumming spectator in 1965, she has gone on to achieve popularity in the United States, particularly through her composition From Both Sides Now, recorded by Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins.

Often compared to Joan Baez for her clarity of voice and individual style, Miss Mitchell, 26, does not include protest songs in her repertoire. Rather, she says, protest is something she feels, particularly when she has heard racial remarks while touring the U.S. South.

She now lives in Laurel Canyon, a suburb of Los Angeles.

Gilles Vigneault is probably the most versatile of the Mariposa performers this year. The 40-year-old chansonnier has written more than 200 songs, is a published poet, and in 1966 received the $2,500 Governor-General's Literary Award for his book of poetry, Quand les Bateaux s'en Vont.

Bigneault sings in French such songs as Mon Pays, C'est l'Hiver and musically describes such Quebec characters as Berlu the fisherman and Tit-Paul the lumberjack.

CBC-TV has announced it will film the festival, to take place on Centre Island in Toronto harbor. The film will be televised Sept. 28 on the one-hour Sunday-at-Nine network series.

 

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