Joan Baez 75th Birthday Celebration
Joan Baez celebrated her 75th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 27 at New York’s historic Beacon Theatre. The special event honored her legendary 50 plus years in music with an intimate, career-spanning live performance. Baez performed alongside a remarkable array of superstar artists including: David Bromberg, Jackson Browne, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Judy Collins, David Crosby, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Damien Rice, Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, Nano Stern and Richard Thompson. Despite the vastness of the ornate Beacon Theatre, a former movie palace from the 1920s, the concert is captured in intimate close-ups, and Baez intersperses her vocals with off-the-cuff reminiscences such as how she was once tasked with waking an exhausted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The awards for Baez’s activism and career continue unabated. Last year, she was presented with Amnesty International’s “Ambassador of Conscience Award” at a ceremony in Berlin. The award is the organization’s top honor and recognizes those who have shown exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights through their life and work. Baez was further honored recently when Joan Baez, her breakthrough 1960 debut album, was selected by the Library of Congress as one of its 25 annual recordings to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. The Library of Congress stated that the album “preserves for posterity powerful performances from the Harvard Square coffeehouse repertoire that brought Baez to prominence as the folk-revival movement was arriving on the national stage.”