Joni Mitchell Live Comeback Continues With Surprise Performance

Share This:

Joni Mitchell at the Herbie Hancock Celebrates Wayne Shorter concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Aug. 23, 2023

Add another to the list of Joni Mitchell surprise performances. The legend made another live, unannounced appearance on Wednesday (August 23, 2023) when she sang a favorite at a tribute concert for the late Wayne Shorter. The saxophonist and composer, who played with such fellow jazz greats as Miles Davis and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers before going on to form the jazz fusion band Weather Report, was celebrated at the Hollywood Bowl by a large ensemble presented by Herbie Hancock. Shorter contributed to many of Mitchell’s albums beginning in the late ’70s. Shortly after Shorter died earlier this year, Mitchell wrote a lengthy tribute that included, “I love Wayne Shorter. He’s the best saxophonist ever, in my opinion. Miles thought so too. Even over Coltrane and the people who were much more famous than Wayne, really. Everything was magical about him.”

At the Hollywood Bowl, the singer-songwriting legend was a surprise guest at the Herbie Hancock Celebrates Wayne Shorter concert that featured such announced performers as Carlos Santana and his wife Cindy Blackman Santana, Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, among many others. The presentation included a salute to Weather Report.

“Some of you may know this song,” she said while introducing “The Circle Game,” and encouraging the audience to sing along. Her 83-year-old host, Hancock, accompanied her on piano. As she concluded her performance which ended the program’s first set, Mitchell said, “We love you, Wayne!”

Mitchell, born November 7, 1943, will turn 80 later this year. She performed her first publicly announced concert in 23 years on June 10, when she presented her “Joni Jam” at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash. Nearly 11 months earlier, a Joni Mitchell surprise performance was a 2022 highlight, and represented her first full-length concert in two decades. [She has suffered from several debilitating health issues in recent years, most prominently a brain aneurysm in 2015.] On July 24, 2022, at a scheduled performance at the Newport Folk Festival billed as “Brandi Carlile & Friends,” Mitchell joined the trailblazing star on stage during her set. Not just for one or two songs. But for thirteen. [It was released as a concert album in July.]

On October 6, Rhino Records will release an expansive collection, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 3: The Asylum Years (1972-1975).

Best Classic Bands Staff

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.