Joan Baez Fare Thee Well...Tour 2019

Joan Baez

Early 2016, at the onset of a new touring and performing schedule that would challenge even her youngest musical peers, Joan Baez was honored by a dozen of her favorite artists and friends for a 75th birthday tribute concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Produced by WNET channel 13 for their award-winning Great Performances series (with PBS broadcast in the spring 2016), the concert featured more than 20 songs spanning Joan’s career. She sang solo, or was joined throughout the night by (in varying combinations) David Bromberg, David Crosby, Damien Rice, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Mavis Staples, Indigo Girls, Richard Thompson, Nano Stern, and Paul Simon (along with the members of her touring band, son Gabriel Harris, Dirk Powell, and Grace Stumberg).


The Beacon Theatre concert was the prelude to Joan’s 17-city tour of the U.S. and Canada, from January through March, as she continued to stay busy as ever. She made her first visits in three decades to Australia (2013) and South America (2014) for sold-out tours in each. In 2015, she traveled to Europe for indoor shows in Spain, Portugal and Italy, returning for a run of festival dates in July, leading up to her return visit to Australia and New Zealand.


In November 2014, Joan was in the prestigious company of Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Stephen Sondheim, and Stevie Wonder, as recipients of the singular, once-in-a-century ASCAP Centennial Award, in recognition of their incomparable accomplishments in their respective genres and beyond.


Coming full circle in March 2015, the Library of Congress selected Joan Baez, her classic 1960 debut LP on Vanguard Records, as one of the 25 recordings chosen annually to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. (In 2011, the National Academy of Record¬ing Arts & Sciences inducted the Joan Baez album into its prestigious Grammy® Hall Of Fame.)


In May 2015, in a ceremony in Berlin, Joan received Amnesty International’s highest honor, its Ambassador of Conscience Award, in recognition of her exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights. It follows the presentation to her of the inaugural Joan Baez Award for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights at Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary gathering in 2012.


Indeed, Joan’s schedule has been a whirlwind in the near decade since she celebrated those joyful landmark years of 2008-2009, the 50th anniversaries of her legendary residency in 1958 at the famed Club 47 in Cambridge, and her subsequent debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. Those events coincided with the 2008 release of Joan’s Grammy-nominated album, Day After Tomorrow, recorded in Nashville and produced by Steve Earle. The album was praised by the Boston Globe for its “songs that evoke the spirit and message of her defining early work…Baez has never sounded wiser, or more deeply human.”


Joan Baez. A musical force of nature, she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, marched on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement with Martin Luther King, inspired Vaclav Havel to fight for a Czech Republic, and participated in two of the early Amnesty Inter¬national tours – the Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986 and the Human Rights Now! tour in 1988. She brought the Free Speech Movement into the spotlight at Berkeley, took to the fields with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, organized resistance to the war in Southeast Asia, then forty years later saluted the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest war.


Joan’s earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into 1960s rock. She quickly began to focus awareness on songwriters ranging from Woody Guthrie, Dylan, Phil Ochs, Richard Fariña, and Tim Hardin, to Kris Kristofferson and Mickey Newbury, to Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, Steve Earle, and many more (including herself). Day After Tomorrow carries on Joan’s tradition of serving as a lightning rod for a wide array of songwriters, with material by Earle, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, T Bone Burnett, Patty Griffin, Thea Gilmore, and Eliza Gilkyson. In addition to Earle, the Nashville studio cats onboard include multi-instrumentalists Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott, bassist Viktor Krauss, and drummer Kenny Malone.


“It’s been a long time,” Joan said of Day After Tomorrow’s release, “since I’ve had an entire album of songs that speak to the essence of who I am in the same way as the songs that have been the enduring backbone of my repertoire for the past 50 years.”


Day After Tomorrow also formed (or completed) a trilogy of albums – with Steve Earle as a primal link – that began with 2003’s Dark Chords On a Big Guitar, Joan’s first new album of studio recordings in six years (at the time), which featured Earle’s “Christmas in Washington.” She followed with 2005’s Bowery Songs, her first live album in ten years (at the time), recorded live at the Bowery Ballroom on New York City’s Lower East Side, the weekend after Election Day, 2004, which included both “Christmas in Washington” and a second Earle composition, “Jerusalem.” Both albums brought Joan’s history of mutual mentoring up into the new millennium – introducing new collaborations with younger artists and songwriters, a hallmark of her recordings and performances ever since the turbulent 1960s.


Fifty Years – And Then Some – Of Joan Baez


In the summer of 1958, 17-year old Joan Baez entered Boston University School Of Drama, surrounded by a musical group of friends who shared her twin passions of folk music and humanist causes. The traditional songs she mastered all dealt with the human condition – underdogs in the fight, inequity among the races, the desperation of poverty, the futility of war, romantic betrayal, unrequited love, spiritual redemption, and grace. Her repertoire grew and she was soon making the rounds of the busy coffee house folk music scene in Boston and Cambridge, especially the venerable Club 47 on Mt. Auburn Street off Harvard Square.


As an 18-year old, she was introduced onstage at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, by Bob Gibson. This led to an offer from Vanguard Records, and she recorded her first solo LP for the label in the summer of 1960. With their mix of traditional ballads and blues, gospel, lullabies, Carter Family songs, Weavers and Woody Guthrie songs, cowboy tunes, ethnic folk staples of American and non-American vintage, and much more – her early Vanguard LPs won strong followings for Joan here and abroad.


Many songs that she introduced on those early LPs found their way into the rock vernacular: “House Of the Rising Sun” (the Animals), “John Riley” (the Byrds), “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin), “What Have They Done To the Rain” (the Searchers), “Jackaroe” (Grateful Dead), and “Long Black Veil” (the Band), to name a few. “Geordie,” “House Carpenter,” and “Matty Groves” inspired a multitude of British acts who trace their origins to Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span. By November 1962, Joan was worthy of the cover of TIME magazine as leader of the burgeoning folk boom.


In 1963, Joan began touring with Bob Dylan and recording his music, a bond that came to symbolize the folk music movement for the next two years. At the same time, Joan began her lifelong role of introducing songs from a host of contemporary singer-songwriters starting with Phil Ochs, Richard Fariña, Leonard Cohen, Tim Hardin, Paul Simon, and others. Her repertoire grew to include songs by Jacques Brel, Lennon-McCartney, Johnny Cash and his Nashville peers, South American composers Nascimento, Bonfa, Villa-Lobos, and others.


At a point when it was neither safe nor fashionable, Joan put herself on the line countless times, as her life’s work was mirrored in her music. She sang about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks in Mississippi to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in 1963. In 1964, she withheld 60% of her income tax from the IRS to protest military spending, and participated in the birth of the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley. A year later she co-founded the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence near her home in Carmel Valley. In 1966, she stood in the fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages, and opposed capital punishment at San Quentin during a Christmas vigil.


The soundtrack for the tumultuous ’60s was (and still is) Joan’s remarkably timeless Vanguard albums. In 1968, she began recording in Nashville, an album of country standards for her then-husband David Harris. He was taken into custody by Federal marshals in 1969 and imprisoned for refusing induction and organizing draft resistance against the Vietnam war. Nashville’s “A-Team” backed Joan on her last four LPs on Vanguard (including her biggest career single, a cover of the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” in 1971) and her first two releases on A&M Records. Meanwhile, Joan traveled to Hanoi with the U.S.-based Liaison Committee and helped establish Amnesty International on the West Coast.


In 1975, Joan’s self-penned “Diamonds & Rust” became the title tune single of an LP with songs by Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, John Prine, Stevie Wonder & Syreeta, Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band – and Bob Dylan. His Rolling Thunder Revues of late 1975 and ’76 (and resulting movie Renaldo & Clara, released in 1978) co-starred Joan Baez.


Joan dedicated her first album sung entirely in Spanish to Chileanos suffering under the rule of Augusto Pinochet. The LP inspired Linda Ronstadt, later in the ’80s, to begin recording the Spanish songs of her heritage. One of Joan’s songs, “No Nos Moveran (We Shall Not Be Moved)” had been banned from public singing in Spain for more than forty years under Generalissimo Franco’s rule. Joan became the first major artist to perform the sung in public on a controversial Madrid television appearance in 1977, three years after the dictator’s death.


In 1978, Joan traveled to Northern Ireland and marched with the Irish Peace People, calling for an end to violence. She appeared at rallies on behalf of the nuclear freeze movement, and performed at benefit concerts to defeat California’s Proposition 6 (Briggs Initiative), legislation that would have banned openly gay people from teaching in public schools. She received the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Award for her commitment to human and civil rights issues; and founded Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, which she headed for 13 years.


Highlights of the 1980s include: Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986, with U2, Peter Gabriel, Sting and others; the 1986 People's Summit concert in Iceland at the time of the historic meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev; and a 1989 concert in Czechoslovakia, cited by President Vaclav Havel as a great influence in the Velvet Revolution.


Highlights of the 1990s include: the Four Voices benefit concerts that reinforced Joan’s belief in the new generation of songwriters’ ability to speak to her; traveling to war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993, at the invitation of Refugees International, for the first major concerts since the outbreak of the civil war; singing in honor of Pete Seeger at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala in Washington, D.C. in 1994; the release of Ring Them Bells in 1995, as her nurturing support of other singer-songwriters came full circle; and the release of Gone From Danger in 1997, with songs from Dar Williams, Sinead Lohan, Betty Elders, the Borrowers, and Richard Shindell.


Highlights of the 2000s include: Vanguard Records’ six-year reissue campaign of expanded editions (with bonus tracks, and new liner notes) of every original LP she recorded at the label from 1960 to 1972; UME’s four-CD mini-boxed set of her six A&M albums from 1972 to 1976 (also with bonus material and new liner notes); the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed at the 49th annual Grammy Awards® in 2007, and her introduction of the Dixie Chicks onstage; the release of Day After Tomorrow in 2008; and the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award received at the Americana Music Association's 7th annual awards show in Nashville in 2008. There were philanthropic and human rights endeavors too numerous to list, from a meeting with Vietnam vets in Idaho Falls in 2009, to a benefit concert at the Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheatre in Seattle, to a benefit show in San Francisco for the Seva Foundation, with Steve Earle, David & Tracy Grisman, Tuck & Patti, and Wavy Gravy.


The 2000s also brought expanded edition reissues (with bonus tracks and new liner notes) of Joan’s ’90s catalog releases Play Me Backwards (1992), Ring Them Bells (1995), and Gone From Danger (1997); the 2009 trade paperback reissue of Joan’s 1987 autobiography, And A Voice To Sing With (Simon & Schuster); her 1969 performance on The Smothers Brothers Show included on a Time-Life Home Video release in 2008; restoration of her full-length performance at the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair on special multi-CD and multi-DVD collectors editions in conjunction with the 40th anniversary in 2009; and remembrances of her time with Bob Dylan in the early ’60s as seen on Martin Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home (Paramount, 2005); Murray Lerner’s “Festival!” (1967, upgraded to DVD in 2005, Eagle Rock); and Lerner’s The Other Side Of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live At the Newport Folk Festival, 1963-1965 (Sony Columbia/Legacy, 2007).


Joan stood alongside Nelson Mandela in June 2008, as the world celebrated his 90th birthday at the 46664 concert in London’s Hyde Park. In January 2009, Joan attended the first presidential inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, DC, and performed at the Peace Ball. Later that year, the PBS American Masters series premiered her life story, Joan Baez: How Sweet The Sound. And in early 2010, she was back in Washington to celebrate Black History month as part of In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement, an all-star concert broadcast live from the East Room.


2010 highlights also included: the Orden de las Artes y las Letras de España (Order of Arts and Letters from Spain), the country’s most prestigious award given to foreign artists, bestowed in 2010 under Royal Decree; a fundraiser at the Teatro ZinZanni spiegeltent in San Francisco, to benefit the Jenkins Penn Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), founded by philanthropist Diana Jenkins and actor/humanitarian Sean Penn to provide relief the Haitian people; and the Humanitarian Award from the Children's Health Fund at their annual benefit in New York, which included a performance and duets with Paul Simon, one of CHF’s founders.


In the spring 2011, Joan sent this Facebook message to the people of Egypt: “You were not afraid. You walked hand in hand. Deep in your hearts, you did believe, and you have overcome. We have faith that your road to democracy will end in triumph. Blessings be upon you and your extraordinary nonviolent revolution.”


In 2011, the influential Folk Alliance International honored Joan with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In October 2011, after a concert performance in Paris, Joan finally received the Ordre national de la Legion d'honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honour), France’s highest medal, representing her status as a Chevalier (Knight) in the Order. The decoration, which she had been granted in 1983, but never officially accepted until 2011, was presented by (then) French Minister of Culture and Communication, Frederic Mitterand.


A month later, Joan was on hand at Occupy Wall Street's Veterans Day rally at Foley Square in New York City. She sang the durable Union hymn “Joe Hill,” and two songs suited for the occasion, but which she hadn’t performed in years, the Rolling Stones’ “Salt Of The Earth” and her original “Where's My Apple Pie?”


Two (separate) special limited edition multi-artist four-CD benefit packages were issued in early 2012, each containing essential music from Joan. She joined more than 70 artists for Chimes Of Freedom – The Songs Of Bob Dylan (Fontana) to benefit Amnesty International, contributing a version of “Seven Curses,” recorded as a demo prior to the sessions for 1992’s Play Me Backwards. Likewise, “We Can't Make It Here” found Joan joining Steve Earle and the song’s composer James McMurtry on one of the high points of the 78-track Occupy This Album package (Razor & Tie), to benefit the Occupy Wall Street movement.


During 2012, Joan participated in historic events that ranged from an April benefit concert in Berkeley for Citizens Reach Out (CRO), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and improving the lives of war victims around the world; to the outdoor concert celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Esalen Institute on its beautiful grounds in Big Sur. Starting in December 2012, visitors to the exhibit, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963,” at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., were able to view the Martin guitar that Joan played at the 1963 rally. The exhibit ran through 2013.


“All of us are survivors,” Joan Baez wrote, “but how many of us transcend survival?” Nearly 60 years on, she means everything to her fans. She continues to show renewed vitality and passion in her concerts and records, and is more comfortable than ever inside her own skin. Always searching, always on the lookout for a good song, or a worthy social movement that would benefit from her support, Joan Baez is an invaluable treasure. In this troubled world, to paraphrase “Wings,” she will always continue to seek “a place where they can hear me when I sing.”

$59/$79/$99/$149 (ADVANCE) $64/$84/$104/$154 (DAY OF SHOW)

Tickets

This event will have a reserved seated Orchestra, Loge, and Balcony. Standing room only (SRO) is BEHIND the last row in the orchestra.

 

18 & over unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
The Capitol Theatre