Joni Mitchell Makes 1st Public Appearance Since Illness

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Joni Mitchell with Chick Corea, Gayle Moran (Corea’s wife) and Herbie Hancock (from left to right), Los Angeles, August 2016 (Photo by Toshi Sakurai)

Joni Mitchell looked quite happy to be out in public among friends on August 20, her first public appearance since suffering a brain aneurysm last year. The singer was spotted at a concert by jazz great Chick Corea at Los Angeles’ Catalina Bar and Grill, where she was photographed with the keyboardist, his wife, singer Gayle Moran and another jazz keyboard icon, Herbie Hancock.

The caption to the photo of the four, posted on her website reads, “We are thrilled to see Joni out and about again! Last night she attended a Chick Corea concert at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Los Angeles. L-R: Joni, Chick Corea, Gayle Moran Corea, Herbie Hancock.”

Mitchell’s emergence would seem to confirm that she has recovered well following what was surely one of the most difficult periods of her life. Mitchell was discovered unconscious in her L.A. home on March 31, 2015, unable to speak. She underwent months of physical rehab, then returned home in July of last year. By last fall friends reported that she was speaking, walking and painting again, although she had not fully recovered yet.

The singer turned 73 on November 7.

Whether Mitchell will ever return to making music remains to be seen. Her last album of new material, Shine, was released nearly a decade ago in 2007, and that arrived after she had already made an announcement that she was retiring.

Watch a rare early video of Joni Mitchell singing John Phillips’ “Me and My Uncle” (best known from the Grateful Dead’s countless covers) in 1965…

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Mitchell’s appearance at a jazz concert is not at all surprising, in any case. Her relationship with the genre stretches back to her early years, when she recorded albums like Mingus (a tribute to bassist Charles Mingus) and used jazz musicians on her recordings and in concert. Hancock, in particular, is a longtime champion; he recorded a tribute album, River: The Joni Letters, which ultimately won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2008.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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