Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell” by rocor is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Pianist • Born November 7, 1943 • American Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock

Fast Facts

  • Roberta Joan Anderson, known as Joni Mitchell, was born in Alberta, Canada and moved to Saskatchewan with her family when she was 7.
  • She started piano at age 7, but was discouraged by teacher to play her own songs.
  • When she was 9, she got polio, which weakened her left hand.
  • To make playing guitar easier, she experimented with several alternate tunings.
  • Growing up, she wanted to be a visual artist and still refers to herself as “a painter who writes songs”.
  • At first, her songs were recorded by other artists, such as Judy Collins, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
  • Even though she did not attend the concert herself, her song “Woodstock” became the unofficial anthem for the event.
  • “Big Yellow Taxi” was written after a trip to Hawaii and has been recorded by over 500 artists.
  • Joni has collaborated with many jazz artists, including Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, and Herbie Hancock.

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