To celebrate the 75th birthday of one of America’s greatest female artists, two special shows took place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles. Joni 75 honoring Joni Mitchell took place over Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 6 & 7). The second night fell on Joni’s 75th birthday. Night two started with a red carpet before the music started with a variety of celebrities and event performers including Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson, James Taylor, George Takei, Eric Idle, Los Lobos, Seal and more. The event scheduled at 6:30 P.M. started almost an hour late but very good reason. The concert did not begin Joni Mitchell herself came in to watch artists that were contemporaries of her to those heavily influenced by her music. After suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015, Joni has made very few public appearances in the last three years.
From being part of the Laurel Canyon sound in the '60s to being more jazz-oriented in the 70s to more pop/electronic in the ’80s and ’90s then retiring from performing in the early 00’s with her last studio album being released in 2007, Joni’s music continues to inspire artists today. From starting her musical career over 50 years ago Joni has become one of the most celebrated and honored female artists including being a multiple Grammy and Juno award winner, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Rock N Roll Hall of Fame recipient. To celebrate Joni’s legacy as and artist and political activist, an all-star lineup played her songs. The lineup for Joni 75 was Graham Nash, James Taylor, Chaka Khan, Seal, Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Brandi Carlile, and Rufus Wainwright. The evening's musical directors were drummer Brian Blade who both recorded and toured with Joni and pianist/composer/arranger/producer Jon Cowherd.
The show was broken into two sets of songs spanning over all eras of Joni’s career. In between songs were videos of interviews with Joni and during the performances, there was a slideshow of photos from Norman Seef who shot Joni 13 different times and artwork of Jonis. Nash played “Our House,” which was the only song of the night that wasn’t written by Mitchell but was written about her. However, James Taylor performed “Woodstock,” a song written by Joni that Crosby Stills and Nash made popular.
For the grand finale, all performers came out to perform “Big Yellow Taxi.” Following the performance, Joni was brought onstage and presented a cake while all attendees and performers sang happy birthday.
1. Court and Spark – Norah Jones
2. Coyote – Glen Hansard
3. For the Roses – Diana Krall
4. Blue – Rufus Wainwright
5. Cold Blue Steel – Emmylou Harris
6. The Magdalene Laundries – Emmylou Harris
7. Help Me – Chaka Khan
8. Dreamland – Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro, Xochi Flores and Chaka Khan
9. Nothing Can Be Done – Los Lobos with La Marisoul
10. River – James Taylor
11. Both Sides Now – Seal
1. Our House – Graham Nash
2. A Strange Boy – Seal
3. All I Want – Rufus Wainwright
4. Borderline – Norah Jones
5. Amelia – Diana Krall
6. The Boho Dance – Glen Hansard
7. A Case of You – Kris Kristofferson with Brandi Carlile
8. Down To You – Brandi Carlile
9. Two Grey Rooms – Chaka Khan
10. Woodstock – James Taylor
11. Big Yellow Taxi – full cast