News archive

JoniMitchell.com has been bringing you the news on Joni since the day the website went live in 1996. It's all archived and searchable here. In addition to the news, you can find an archive of "upcoming tributes and events" that have been listed on the site as well.

News archive

The US version of Barney Hoskyns' anthology releases on October 3. "From album reviews, incisive commentary, and candid conversations, Joni: The Anthology includes, among other things, a review of Mitchell's first-ever show at LA's Troubadour in June of 1968, a 1978 interview by musician Ben Sidran on jazz great Charles Mingus, a personal reminiscence by Ellen Sander, a confidant of the Los Angeles singer-songwriter community, and a long "director's cut" version of editor Barney Hoskyns' 1994 MOJO interview. A time capsule of an icon, the anthology spans the entirety of Joni's career between 1967-2007, as well as thoughtful commentary on her early years."

The musical lineup has been announced for PazFest IV, the New Orleans Tribute to Joni Mitchell to benefit the Ruth Paz Pediatric Surgery and Burn Hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

This event takes place Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, 7-11 p.m. at the beautiful Civic Theatre New Orleans. Tickets are $25 and are available in advance at http://www.civicnola.com/event/1531984

Musical lineup to feature: Chuck Mitchell, Judith Owen, Harry Shearer, Tommy Malone, Deacon John w/Sonny Schneidau, Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band/Flecktones), Paul Sanchez, Tonya Boyd-Cannon, A Celebration of Joni Mitchell featuring Kimberly Ford (from Santa Barbara California), Sean Ardoin, Debbie Davis, Matt Perrine, Alex McMurray, Phil DeGruy with Emily Robertson, Leslie Smith, Cary Hudson, Jim McCormick, Renshaw Davies, Henley Douglas, Jr., Krewe de Groove, Brandon Tarricone, Joe Tullos w/Randy Ellis and Kevin Aucoin, Dayna Kurtz, Kevin Stylez, Joshua Thomas, Jahida Esperanza (from Colorado), Enid (From Ottawa Canada), Christina Friis (from Denmark) with Larry Sieberth, Bryan Thomas, Cassie Krebs, Dirk Billie, Fatsy Cline, and surprise guests.

Read the full press release here.

Playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director Sam Shepard has passed away. Shepard, who had been ill with ALS for some time, died peacefully on July 30 at home in Kentucky, surrounded by his children and sisters. He was 73 years old.

Shepard is the author of forty-four plays - "True West" among them - as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff.

Sam also toured with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review and wrote the Rolling Thunder Logbook. Allegedly, Joni's song "Coyote" was written in large part about Sam.

Die-hard fans of Joni will know better, but there is a person 'selling tickets' to a Joni concert that is, of course, not happening. This person is using the email cassandrahood09@gmail.com, the twitter handle @jonimitchell070, and goes by the name Cassandra Hood or Cassandra Newton. This person asks for a payment through Western Union to another person, Jessica A Grimm with a New Market, Tennessee address. The scammer is also using an IP blocker to hide their real IP address. All this, of course is a fraud. Hopefully this news item will save a person or two from falling for this scam.

It is with regret that we announce the passing of John Uren, "the Godfather of Canadian Folk". John hired a young Joni Anderson to play at his coffeehouse in Calgary in September of 1963 - the first regular gig of her career. Joni at the time was an art student and John's belief in her talent arguably had an influence on Joni switching gears and pursuing a musical path.

John was an adventurer and a visionary, tackling many varied careers - cab driver, horse owner/trainer, magazine publisher, coffeehouse owner, folk festival promoter, filmmaker, and much more. Last September, John attended the 20th Anniversary Jonifest on BC's Sunshine Coast, just a few miles south of his home. He can be seen speaking at the event here.

John died Tuesday at his home in Powell River, BC. He was 81 years old. At his request there will be no service, celebration, or published obituary (although the Globe and Mail has done so). Many articles, spanning the decades, can be found on his rich life here on the website: 1963, 1972, 2005, and 2014.

Eric Anderson sings for Joni backstage before his performance at McCabe's in Santa Monica last night. (Photo by Steve Postell)

Introduced by a teary-eyed Jennifer Aniston, Sara Bareilles performed Joni's "Both Sides Now" as the vocal backing to an exceptionally powerful In Memoriam segment at the 2017 Oscars. The piece honored all who the academy and film industry had lost in the past year including singer/actor Prince, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gene Wilder, Mary Tyler Moore, Debbie Reynolds, her daughter Carrie Fisher and many more. Watch the video here.

Joni made a rare public appearance last night, attending Clive Davis' annual Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, where she was escorted by writer and filmmaker Cameron Crowe and author Daniel Levitin (pictured with Joni).

Joni was honored as one of the greatest songwriters whose work has touched everyone in the music industry.

She had a good time and was particularly moved by Chance the Rapper and Mary J. Blige’s performances. Herbie Hancock came by and said an extended hello, as did many other well-wishers, including Stephen Stills and Clive Davis.

This Thursday - in addition to being Thanksgiving day in the USA - marks the 40th anniversary of The Band's Last Waltz, the legendary concert event held in San Francisco. "The one I remember most was Joni Mitchell," says John Simon, musical director of the event. "The chords she played on the guitar were not standard. The guys would look at her left hand and go, 'What? I remember this one quote from her: I said ‘What’s that chord?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know the name of it. I tune my guitar this way, to make myself stupid’ – in other words, to not fall into pre-determined patterns, patterns she was used to." Rhino has released a 40th Anniversary 5-disc set to commemorate the event. (Photo of Joni and Robbie Robertson © Steve Gladstone)

Joni and Leonard Cohen, both Canadians, met at the Newport Folk Festival in 1967. "For Cohen as well as Mitchell, Toronto played a pivotal career-making role. It was Jack McClelland who almost single-handedly created CanLit, and turned Cohen into a literary star by publishing his work. Joni and Leonard were both blazingly original talents on the verge of breaking into American mainstream culture. Indeed, both would eventually settle in Los Angeles and remain there for decades." Our hearts go out to all those who loved Leonard Cohen.

Oscar Brand, who brought folk music to many generations of people, has left us at 96. He featured a young Joni Anderson on his 'Let's Sing Out' program in October of 1965. Oscar was the host of the 'Folk Song' show for 70 years, and it eventually earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for “longest-airing radio show with the same host.” You will be missed, sir!

The Polaris Music Prize, established in 2006, is an annual award honoring albums by Canadian artists, based on artistic merit rather than sales. But what about all those great Canadian albums that came out before the Polaris Music Prize existed? Well, those records also get some love, courtesy of the Polaris Heritage Prize.

The (Canadian) Heritage award, which was first presented last year, is for albums that would likely have been nominated for the Polaris Prize had it been around back in the day. Ten albums are nominated from each of four time periods: 1960-1975, 1976-1985, 1986-1995 and 1996-2005.

This year's nominees in the 1960-1975 period include Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, Neil Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and After the Gold Rush, The Band's Music from Big Pink and its self-titled effort, Gordon Lightfoot's Lightfoot! and Leonard Cohen's Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Cast your vote through mid-October.

We are thrilled to see Joni out and about again! Last night she attended a Chick Corea concert at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Los Angeles. L-R: Joni, Chick Corea, Gayle Moran Corea, Herbie Hancock. (Photo by Toshi Sakurai)

Christopher Cross is working on a new album, and has completed a track called "Roberta" - a tribute to Joni. He's offered to share it with the Joni community, saying "'Roberta' is the first [song] I have completed [on my new album], which is very much influenced by her later work 'Hejira' and beyond." Thanks to Christopher for sharing this preview with the community, we hear the influence!

play  Roberta by Christopher Cross