Few musicians have had as lasting an impact on music as Joni Mitchell. In her four-decade career, she made groundbreaking music that traversed genres and continually stunned fans and critics alike. The music icon celebrated her 75th birthday in style last November, as Jörn Weisbrodt and The Music Center in Los Angeles hosted a pair of star-studded Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration concerts in her honor. The line-up (which Joni helped select) featured many of her closest friends and dearest collaborators, including Graham Nash, Seal, Chaka Khan,Kris Kristofferson, and James Taylor. Also on the bill were Diana Krall, Brandi Carlile, Rufus Wainwright, Emmylou Harris, Glen Hansard, Norah Jones, and Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro & Xochi Flores. Featuring a set of Joni classics and deep cuts from across her career, each night was a thrilling tribute full of excellent music. November 7 was even more magnificent, as Mitchell herself attended and even appeared onstage to blow out birthday candles and sing along as the all-star band and more than 3,000 fans sang “Happy Birthday” and “Big Yellow Taxi” in tribute to her.
Next month, Joni Mitchell fans will be able to enjoy the celebrations again. Global film distributors Trafalgar Releasing and The Music Center have partnered for a special, one-night-only screening of Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, taking place in movie theaters across the U.S. and Canada on Thursday, February 7. The two-hour, Martyn Atkins-directed film includes footage of the entire concert (captured over two nights), along with special behind-the-scenes interviews with the artists.
“We are thrilled to bring audiences together in movie theaters across North America to experience this magical evening,” said Trafalgar Releasing SVP of Programming, Kymberli Frueh. “The incredible talent featured in this concert is a true testament to the impact that Joni has had on musicians and fans alike.”
A CD of highlights from the concert — also entitled Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration — will be available on March 1 from Decca. The album’s 16 tracks include such highlights as Brandi Carlile and Kris Kristofferson’s heartfelt take on “A Case of You,” Seal’s breathtaking “Both Sides Now,” Diana Krall’s haunting take on “Amelia,” and and Los Lobos and Friends’ rollicking “Dreamland,” which features Chaka Khan reprising her guest vocal spot, as she did on the original recording back in 1977.
Anchoring each live performance — on CD and on screen — is a top-notch house band full of Joni’s collaborators. Led by drummer Brian Blade and pianist Jon Cowherd, the band also includes guitarists Greg Leisz and Marvin Sewell, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, as well as Jeff Haynes on percussion, Chris Thomas on bass, Bob Sheppard on woodwinds, and special guest Scarlet Rivera on violin.
With a wealth of musical talent and selections from across Joni’s illustrious career, Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration is a fitting tribute to one of the legendary musicians of our time. The upcoming film screening and CD are perfect for fans who want to relive those two nights in November, or for those who weren’t able to see it in person. The film will screen across North America for one night only on February 7. You can find the screening nearest you and purchase tickets at Joni75.com. The soundtrack CD is set to arrive from Decca on March 1. Check out the pre-order links and take a look the album’s track list below!
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