The official music video for Joan Baez’s “The President Sang Amazing Grace” is premiering today at The Atlantic. Watch HERE.
Created and animated by Jeff Scher (whose work is in the permanent collection at MoMA and who has created work for HBO, PBS and The New York Times) and produced by Rick Litvin (Associate Arts Professor, New York University), the video is the first unveiled as part of a forthcoming “visual album” of distinctive short films. Created in collaboration with NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, each film will accompany one of the ten songs from Baez’s acclaimed new album, Whistle Down The Wind.
In support of the release, Baez will begin a run of North American dates starting on September 11 in Ithaca, NY. The extensive run of shows, following 50 U.K. and European dates, marks Baez’s last year of formal touring and includes stops at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. As a special offer to fans purchasing tickets for Baez’s U.S. tour, a CD or digital download of Whistle Down The Wind is included with every ticket purchased. See below for complete tour details.
Recorded over a ten-day period in Los Angeles, Whistle Down The Wind was produced by three-time Grammy Award-winner Joe Henry (Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint and others) and includes songs written by Tom Waits, Anohni, Mary Chapin Carpenter,Josh Ritter and Eliza Gilkyson. Of working with Henry, Baez says, “It was a hunch on both of our parts that we could make an album together. As it turned out it was a no brainer. We both work fast and were musically on the same wavelength. I work best with musicians who are as willing as I am to wing it and he assembled a group of players who did just that. Meaning: invent each song from scratch.”
The new music marks the first release from Baez since 2008’s Grammy-nominated albumDay After Tomorrow. Its release, which ignited an extraordinary decade of achievement for Baez, coincided with the 50th anniversary of her legendary 1958 residency at the famed Club 47 in Cambridge. Milestones over the past ten years include:
2009: PBS American Masters premiere of her life story, Joan Baez: How Sweet The Sound, which underscored the 50th anniversary of Baez’s debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival.
2011: Baez’ seminal debut album of 1960 honored by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in 2011, which inducted it into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
2015: Library of Congress selects Baez’s debut album to be preserved in the National Recording Registry.
2015: Amnesty International bestowed its highest honor on Baez, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, in recognition of her exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights.
2016: Baez’s 75th birthday was celebrated at New York’s Beacon Theater in January, where Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris and others joined her. The concert premiered on the PBS Great Performances series in May 2017.
2017: Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction
2017: Baez’s first solo exhibition of paintings, entitled “Mischief Makers,” was presented in Mill Valley, CA. The bulk of the exhibit was subsequently purchased by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and donated to Sonoma State University, where it will eventually be displayed at an envisioned new social justice learning center on campus.