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'Hejira' performs Shadows and Light, Nottingham UK, March 3

Posted February 16, 2023

On the 3rd March, Peggy’s Skylight will be putting on a celebratory concert of music by the unique, brilliant and inspirational artist, Joni Mitchell. Bandleader for the project, Pete Oxley, writes:

"I have long been a massive fan of Joni Mitchell’s music, ranging from the sparse, folky early albums (such as ‘Blue’) to the late, gorgeously lush albums arranged by the brilliant Vince Mendoza (‘Both Sides Now’ and ‘Travelogue’). Somewhere in the middle of her career was what some people describe as her ‘jazz period’ - and it is from this era that we will be creating the programme for this gig.

Many of you will be aware of the album called ‘Shadows And Light’. This is a 'Desert Island Disc’ for me - not just because her band comprises a whole load of my favourite musicians, but because as a live album, it fizzes with an incredible, electric atmosphere from the off! The songs on the album are beautiful, exciting and, as always with Joni, totally touching in the poignancy of the lyrics. There is a DVD of this concert and it is clear that Joni must have been totally living the dream, performing her masterpiece works with this group".

And so to our band for the 3rd March: firstly, taking on the role of Joni Mitchell will be Hattie Whitehead - who not only pulls off the qualities of Mitchell’s singing…but also plays guitar like Joni, involving all sorts of Mitchell’s ‘open tunings'! Hattie grew up, surrounded by world-class musicians - being the daughter of the outstanding saxophonist, Tim Whitehead. Aside from mastering Joni’s mannerisms, Hattie is a great singer/songwriter in her own right: she won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in 2016 and has had hundreds of thousands of streams of her original works listened to.

The band also features the superb (New Jazz Generation) keyboard player, Chris Eldred. Chris was winner of the Yamaha 'Award for Outstanding Jazz Musicians’ and was the keyboardist with the National Youth Jazz orchestra (NYJO) between 2008 and 2014.

For the purposes of not going on at length here - and because most of you will be aware of their work - we’ll just list the total personnel for this gig; however, let us assure you that this line-up comprises only very, very fine players! The band will be:

Hattie Whitehead ~ vocals & guitar
Ollie Weston ~ tenor & soprano saxophones
Chris Eldred ~ keyboards
Pete Oxley ~ guitar
Dave Jones ~ bass
Rick Finlay ~ drums
Keith Fairbairn ~ percussion

More information here