JOAN BAEZ has been as busy as ever since the landmark years of 2008 and 2009, the 50th anniversaries of her legendary residency in 1958 at the famed Club 47 in Cambridge, and her subsequent debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival.
In addition to multiple concert tours, the recent past has included the induction of Joan’s 1960 debut LP by the National Recording Academy into the Grammy Hall of Fame and its selection in 2015 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
In 2015, she received Amnesty International’s highest honor, its Ambassador of Conscience Award, in recognition of her leadership in the fight for human rights. It follows the presentation to her of the inaugural Joan Baez Award for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights at Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary gathering in 2012.
She remains a musical force of nature of incalculable influence – marching on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, inspiring Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic, singing on the first Amnesty International tour, and more recently, standing alongside Nelson Mandela celebrating his 90th birthday in London’s Hyde Park. She shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement, took to the fields with Cesar Chavez, organized resistance to the Vietnam War, then 40 years later saluted the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest the Iraq war. Her earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into the rock vernacular, before she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, beginning a tradition of mutual mentoring that continues to this day.
Day After Tomorrow, her 2008 album, was praised by critics and nominated for a Grammy, followed by the PBS American Masters premiere of her life story, Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound.