Joan Baez, who turned 75 on January 9th, is still going strong – touring, recording and bringing her message of protest and social justice all over the world.
Performing for over 55 years, Joan Baez has become more than a legend, she’s an institution. Performing since 1958 and with her first album released in 1960, she has embraced a wide range of genres, from folk, blues, gospel, Pop and Country. Although primarily known as a Folk Singer, her career has been diverse, and even now she performs music of a newer generation of song-writers, in addition to her own material.
Although there’s some strain hitting all the high notes, Joan Baez is still in excellent voice – and the audience shows its appreciation and love for this iconic artist after every song.
Her activism is legendary, and she has participated in just about every major (and minor) peace and civil rights demonstration throughout the 60s to the present day, having appeared everywhere from the March on Washington in 1963 to Live Aid in 1983 to Occupy Wall Street in 2011. She has tirelessly campaigned for a whole host of Human rights issues, as well as issues of poverty and the environment.
Looking at her current tour schedule (for the first half of 2016 so far), there is no letup in her activities. From a tour around the U.S. between now and June and then a tour of Europe starting in July. Which just goes to show you that age is only a number and, if you’re up for it, you can do just about anything.
It’s highly doubtful there are people who haven’t heard of Joan Baez – she has been such a visible presence in our popular culture for so long that it would be impossible not to have noticed. And if you don’t know who she is – where have you been?
So as way of a birthday tribute – here is that concert from the Paleo Festival from 2015.