Legendary artist and activist, Joan Baez, has been nominated as part of the class of 2017 for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Baez’s career has spanned over 50 years during which she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, marched on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement with Martin Luther King, inspired Vaclav Havel to fight for a Czech Republic, and continues to this day to stand passionately on behalf of causes she embraces. She is the recipient of many honors including the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award. Her early albums introduced songs, which found their way into the rock vernacular including “House Of the Rising Sun” (the Animals), “John Riley” (the Byrds), and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin).
Fans can vote once per day at rockhall.com/vote between now and December 5, 2016. The top five artists from the fan vote will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be counted along with the other ballots to determine the 2017 inductees.
Baez is currently in the midst of an extensive fall U.S. tour drawing upon repertoire spanning her historic career, while introducing new songs that continue her tradition of serving as a lightning rod for a wide range of songwriters. Upcoming performances include stops at Chicago’s Symphony Centre, Denver’s Paramount Theater and L.A.’s Disney Hall. See below for complete tour details.
As part of the tour, Baez has teamed up with the Innocence Project and other members of the Innocence Network to join the crusade against wrongful conviction using the platform of her latest concert tour. Throughout the tour, volunteers from Innocence Network organizations will inform concertgoers about efforts to exonerate people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes and to reform the system to prevent further injustice. Local Innocence Network members will bring attention to specific incarcerated individuals in their respective states who are fighting for justice.
“I’m thrilled to lend my voice to such an important cause and help in the fight against wrongful convictions,” Baez declared. “We hope to provide a platform that will amplify the heartbreaking stories of men and women wrongfully convicted. The fight against unlawful convictions shines a light on both a broken criminal justice system and the racial inequality of people serving time. I hope my audiences will be motivated to support their work.”
Established in 1992, the Innocence Project uses DNA evidence to exonerate people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes and works to improve the system to prevent further injustice. Established in 2005, the Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations from all over the world (including 56 members in the U.S.) dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.
In other news, Baez celebrated her 75th birthday on January 27 at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The special event honored her legendary 50-plus years in music in an intimate, career-spanning live performance. Baez performed alongside fellow artists and friends, including: David Bromberg, Jackson Browne, MaryChapin Carpenter, Judy Collins, David Crosby, Indigo Girls, Emmylou Harris, Damien Rice, Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, Nano Stern and Richard Thompson. Rolling Stone called the performance “true to spirit, a folk concert through and through, full of spontaneous sing-alongs and impromptu lyrical ad-libs.” The concert was recorded and produced for television by Thirteen Productions LLC for WNET New York as part of the Great Performances series on PBS. The program, which debuted in May, continues to air on stations nationwide.
JOAN BAEZ CONFIRMED TOUR DATES
October 19 Cleveland, OH State Theatre
October 20 Carmel, IN The Palladium
October 22 Madison, WI Capitol Theatre
October 23 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre
October 25 Chicago, IL Symphony Center
October 26 Minneapolis, MN State Theatre
October 29 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
October 30 Santa Fe, NM Lensic Performing Arts Center