Berklee is always eager to dedicate shows to renowned artists or alumni, such as the tribute for George Clinton or the celebration of Maggie Scott. This week, Berklee will pay homage to Joni Mitchell, considered by many to be the most important female recording artist of the 20th century. Back to the Garden: The Artistry of Joni Mitchell is a musical written by students in the Advanced Music Theater Workshop and performed by students in the Joni Mitchell Ensemble. Paula Cole ’90, who won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist, will perform as a special guest.
The show was put together by director Rebecca Perricone and music director Terri Lyne Carrington, who recently won a Grammy for her album The Mosaic Project. Berklee students and faculty from the Joni Mitchell Ensemble will perform some of Mitchell’s famous songs like “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Circle Game,” and “Both Sides Now” with new arrangements. The ensemble is comprised of 9 musicians, hand-picked by Terri Lyne Carrington, who also chose student Ben Lusher ’14 to serve as co-musical director. Paula Cole, who advocates that Mitchell is “among the very greatest contributors to modern music”, will make appearances throughout the show, singing pieces like “A Case of You” and “Love”.
Back to the Garden is about the continuous journey that Joni Mitchell has been taking all her life; her music has evolved from folk to 70’s pop to jazz and even to world music, and her fierce unwillingness to compromise has led her into becoming an innovative and iconoclastic musician for people all over the world.
The show takes place at the Berklee Performance Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3rd. Tickets are $8/$13 in advance; $12/$17 day of the show. You can purchase tickets at berkleebpc.com, call 617 747-2261, or visit the BPC Box Office. And as always, if you can’t make the show, hop on over to concertwindow.com to watch the event streaming live.