From Bill's Desk

Joan Baez

TUESDAY, APRIL 30 at 7:30pm
Joan Baez
Fare Thee Well Tour 2019

Over the past sixty years, McCarter has been proud to present some of the most legendary icons of the Golden Age of Folk Music: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Joan Baez – to name only a few. And now, 14 years after her last McCarter performance, Joan Baez, the “First Lady” of the folk music movement, makes her unmissable return to McCarter on April 30 with her “Fare Thee Well Tour 2019”.

Joan Baez has always been a standard-bearer and activist on behalf of the causes she embraces, whether it be marching on the front lines of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King Jr.; the Free Speech movement; organized resistance to the Vietnam War; or standing with the late Nelson Mandela as the world celebrated his 90th birthday.

Folk music has a few evolutionary moments, and one of them was Joan Baez’ historic 1958 residency at the famed Club 47 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event, which marked its 50th anniversary this year, launched her career. In the early 1960’s, I had the opportunity to present her in concert in Berkeley, California, where her talent had already made her a legend.

Milestones over the just the past decade would include the 2009 PBS American Masters premiere of her life story Joan Baez: How Sweet; her 75th birthday celebration in 2016, which was premiered on PBS’ Great Performances series in 2017; Amnesty International’s “Ambassador of Conscience” Award in 2015; and a couple of notable inductions: that of her 1960 seminal album into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011, and her own into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year.

Her most recent album, Whistle Down The Wind, was released in the spring of 2018 and includes songs by Tom Waits, Josh Ritter, and Mary Chapin Carpenter (who will be at McCarter on November 2). Rolling Stone called her CD “a moving reflection and summation of her life as a singer, musician and activist”.

She says this “Fare Thee Well” tour will be her final outing, but we should all hope she changes her mind. She has carved an indelible place in American music history and leaves a lasting legacy among the artists of our time who have made a difference.