SFJAZZ Moves Forward On Joni Mitchell Tribute; Stars Announced

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joni mitchell sfjazz
Joni Mitchell self-portrait

Photo Credit: Courtesy SFJAZZ

Nearly two weeks have passed since the last official word on the condition of music legend Joni Mitchell, who was hospitalized March 31 and is scheduled to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from SFJAZZ on May 8. An April 3 post on the icon’s website states that she “remains under observation in the hospital.” In a classic example of the show must go on, SFJAZZ on April 13 announced a star-studded lineup for its tribute to her next month.

Mitchell will receive the honor for her artistic vision and contributions to modern music from Wayne Shorter. The Gala concert will feature special guests Kris Kristofferson, Joe Jackson, Patti Austin, Kurt Elling, Richard Bona, Tom Scott, Mark Isham, Laurie Antonioli, and SFJAZZ Collective interpreting Mitchell’s groundbreaking work. Musical Directors Brian Blade and Jon Cowherd will lead an all-star backing band with Greg Leisz, Melvin Butler, Marvin Sewell, Kelly Jones, Christopher Thomas, Aaron Embry and Jeff Haynes.

Following the Gala concert, guests will be treated to a late-night supper and musical performances by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue plus the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars.

Celebrities confirmed to attend include Rosanna Arquette, Winona Ryder, Ashley Judd, David Blaine, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Goldberg, Bobby Hutcherson, Phil Kaufman, Delroy Lindo and Davia Nelson.

Premier patron tables and individual tickets are available at sfjazz.org/jonimitchell or contact Stephanie Garcés at 415-283-0364 or [email protected]

SFJAZZ is asking artists for video testimonials about Ms. Mitchell’s influence on their music. The growing list of videos includes Jane Monheit, Taj Mahal, Mary Stallings, Lizz Wright, and more. These videos can be viewed at sfjazz.org/thankyoujoni. Fans can get involved on social media by using #thankyoujoni.

All proceeds from the SFJAZZ Gala 2015 will support SFJAZZ’s artistic and education programs. The SFJAZZ Gala raised over $1.4 million in 2014. SFJAZZ Trustee Nion McEvoy and longtime SFJAZZ supporter Penny Coulter will serve as Co-Chairs for this year’s Gala.

It sounds like it will be quite the affair. We hope Mitchell can attend.

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