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Official Press Release: Luminato Festival 2013, Joni: A Portrait in Song Print-ready version (Website)
April 16, 2013
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TORONTO (April 16, 2013) - Luminato Festival will host the world premiere of JONI: A PORTRAIT IN SONG - A BIRTHDAY HAPPENING LIVE AT MASSEY HALL, an all-star birthday celebration for the legendary Joni Mitchell. JONI: A PORTRAIT IN SONG will run June 18 & 19 at Massey Hall as part of the 7th Annual Luminato Festival.

Joni Mitchell is a restlessly innovative artist in every sense. From "Both Sides Now" and Blue to Court and Spark and "Coyote," the work of Joni Mitchell continues to inspire and delight generations of listeners. Joni remains one of the world's most embraced, lauded, and prolific singer-songwriters and visionary artists. Her music has evolved from folk into pop, jazz, avant-garde and even World Music. Her lyrics are like a great poet painting with words, and her visual artwork offers the excitement of new ways of seeing. When eight-time Grammy winner Joni Mitchell was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, the Grammys called her music "a powerful influence on all artists who embrace diversity, imagination, and integrity."

"Joni Mitchell is turning 70 this year and she told me she is proud of that fact. It was natural to choose Joni, one of the greatest Canadian artists, to pay homage to" said Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director, Luminato Festival. "It has been an incredible pleasure working on this project and getting to know the beautiful human being behind the extraordinary creative force. Joni's songs are finely crafted fragments that together form a gigantic mosaic that speaks to the human condition.

To celebrate her artistry and upcoming 70th birthday, the Luminato Festival has brought together an all-star lineup of musicians and vocalists interpreting the songs of this brilliantly original artist. Confirmed performers include: multiple Grammy-Award winner Chaka Khan; Grammy, Tony and Academy Award-winner Glen Hansard (Once); acclaimed singer/songwriter and Festival fave, Rufus Wainwright and more.

Added Weisbrodt, "Joni has been the guiding voice for a lot of our artistic choices - the band artists we hired, the singers we have approached, the title of the show. It is these encounters and unique projects that really make me extremely grateful for the job I have been given as Artistic Director of the Festival."

Musical direction and arrangements provided by drummer/bandleader Brian Blade along with pianist/composer Jon Cowherd. Band to include: Brian Blade (drums), Melvin Butler (saxophone), Jon Cowherd (piano & keyboards), Bill Frisell (guitar), Jeff Haynes (percussion), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Marvin Sewell (guitar), Christopher Thomas (bass). Produced by New York-based live music producer Danny Kapilian.

June 18 and June 19, 2013 - Two Performances Only!
Tuesday and Wednesday @ 7:30PM Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street
Ticket prices range from $35-$175 (inclusive of HST and facility fee; plus applicable service charges) Online at or by phone at 416-368-4TIX(4849)

JONI: A PORTRAIT IN SONG - A BIRTHDAY HAPPENING LIVE AT MASSEY HALL is presented by Sun Life Financial with support from Slaight Music

A multi-artist appreciation of Joni Mitchell with Jon Pareles will take place on Sunday, June 16, at the Isabel Bader Theatre as part of TimesTalks Luminato.

Nicholas Jennings, Murray Mclauchlan and Sylvia Tyson will discuss Yorkville in the 60s and Joni Mitchell's musical influence on Monday, June 17, at David Pecaut Square as part of the Lunchtime Illuminations series.

The seventh annual Luminato Festival takes place from June 14 - 23, 2013. Tickets for all Luminato Festival 2013 programs will be available for sale beginning Saturday, April 20. For details, visit

Twitter: @Luminato
Hashtags: #Luminato #LuminatoMoment Facebook: Luminato Festival Instagram: @LuminatoFestival

Luminato Festival is the international multi-arts festival for people open to having art change their outlook on the world. For ten days each June, the Luminato Festival transforms theatres, parks and public spaces across the city and creates a home for artists to come play, share and create. When the unexpected meets the transformative, that's a Luminato moment.

Luminato Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous support and vision of its Founding Luminaries, SuperNova donors, and Patron Circle Members. The Festival would not be possible without the support of our Partner in Creativity, L'Oréal Canada. Luminato also proudly acknowledges the support of its Founding Government Partner the Province of Ontario, as well as the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Luminato Partner in Creativity: L'Oréal Canada.

Luminato Presenting Partners: Kia Canada, TELUS, President's Choice®, Manulife Financial, City of Toronto and Sun Life Financial.

Luminato Media Partners: Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and St. Joseph Communications.

List represents commitments as of April 16, 2013

Media Contact: FLIP PUBLICITY, 416.533.7710, Michelle McTeague X253, or Grant Ramsay, X222,
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