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Joni Mitchell Tribute at Kuumbwa, Santa Cruz Print-ready version

Kuumbwa Jazz Center
February 10, 2012

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Jayme Kelly Curtis


11 Musical Acts Interpret the Music of Venerable Songwriter

FELTON, CA February 6, 2012 -- 19 of Santa Cruz's most accomplished musical acts pay tribute to songwriter Joni Mitchell on Saturday, March 3 at 8:00 pm at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar Street #2, in Santa Cruz. Tickets for "The Joni Show" are available online at Locally, tickets can be purchased at Logos Books and Records, 1117 Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz and Tiki King's Ukuleles of Felton, 6235 Highway 9 in Felton. Price is $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Each of the 11 featured acts perform selections from the extensive catalogue of Joni Mitchell, a songwriter, composer, guitar innovator and arranger whose influence on popular music is paralleled only by Bob Dylan and the Beatles.

"When I announced my plans for this show I was inundated by requests from musicians wanting to participate," says singer, songwriter and producer Jayme Kelly Curtis. "People who love Joni Mitchell REALLY love Joni Mitchell. Folks literally swoon when I describe this show and ticket sales were already brisk a month and a half out."

The concert features a wide variety of interpretation of material that spans the breadth of Joni Mitchell's extensive body of work, including five selections from "Blue," Mitchell's groundbreaking 1971 album. 16 other song choices reflect an artistic output that runs from "Song to a Seagull," Mitchell's first release in 1968, all the way to "Turbulent Indigo," her fifteenth full-length album, released in 1994. Mitchell has released two additional CDs of original music since then, most recently "Shine," in 2007. Many well-known artists have also published tribute recordings.

Featured acts in The Joni Show include:

Amy Obenski, piano and voice
Barry Phillips, cello
Celina Gutierrez and Rhan Wilson, acoustic guitar, voice and electric bass
Ginny Mitchell, guitar and voice and a full band
Jayme Kelly Curtis, open tuned baritone ukulele and voice
Jesse Autumn, Celtic harp, piano and voice
Laura Devine, dulcimer and voice
Mary McCaslin, guitar and voice
Nancy Levan and Bill Walker, acoustic guitar, voice, lap steel guitar and effects
Paula Bliss, guitar and voice
Pipa Pinon, voice

Additional backing musicians include:

Bob Bliss, piano
Bob Burnett, seven string guitar
Bob von Elgg, electric guitar
Daniel Vee Lewis, bass
Jimmy Norris, drums
Shelley Phillips, English horn

"Each of these musicians has a unique musical style and each have distinguished themselves in Santa Cruz's musical community," said Curtis. "All of them have lengthy musical resumes and lead lives of musical commitment. Moreover, each has engaged in a serious love affair with Joni Mitchell's work at some point in their lives."

The practical consideration of getting 19 musicians on and off the Kuumbwa's relatively small stage has had a positive artistic impact. Curtis has implemented certain theatrical components designed to enhance the audience's enjoyment of the material while minimizing the distraction of continuous stage setups.

"Several people urged me to hold this event at a larger venue," said Curtis. "Because Joni Mitchell is so iconic, we could likely fill a much bigger house. But I feel the smaller, more intimate venue is key to my vision. This music is intimate, yet expansive. Additionally, I feel it's my personal tribute to bring this show to a jazz club. It took years for the world to catch up to Joni's brilliance and to acknowledge her place among jazz greats. In many ways, Joni Mitchell made my musical life possible and her music continues to have a profound impact on me and my contemporaries. This is the least I can do to honor her."

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