Following a record breaking year of touring in 2016, longstanding folk singer Joan Baez was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and inducted by Jackson Browne at the Hall’s annual gala on April 7, 2017. Joan’s first solo exhibition of her paintings just concluded in Mill Valley, CA. The collection of paintings celebrated “Mischief Makers”—portraits of people who have brought about social change through nonviolent action—the risk-taking visionaries.
2016 began with a celebration of Joan’s 75th birthday at New York’s Beacon Theater where she was joined by a cast of musical colleagues including Paul Simon, Jackson Browne and Emmylou Harris. The evening was filmed for the PBS series, Great Performances, and premiered in May.
The recent past has included the induction of Joan’s 1960 debut LP by the National Recording Academy into the Grammy Hall Of Fame and its selection in 2015 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
In 2015, she received Amnesty International’s highest honor, its Ambassador of Conscience Award, in recognition of her 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.
She remains a musical force of nature of incalculable influence – marching on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, inspiring Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic, singing on the first Amnesty International tour and more recently, standing alongside Nelson Mandela celebrating his 90th birthday in London’s Hyde Park. She shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement, took to the fields with Cesar Chavez, organized resistance to the Vietnam War, then forty years later saluted the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest the Iraq war. Her earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into the rock vernacular, before she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, beginning a tradition of mutual mentoring that continues to this day.
Her album ‘Day After Tomorrow’ (2008) was praised by critics and nominated for a Grammy, followed by the PBS American Masters premier of her life story, ‘Joan Baez: How Sweet The Sound’. Her new album, ‘Whistling Down The Wind’, was produced by Joe Henry and is scheduled for release world-wide on 2 March 2018.