Joni Mitchell: Born 1943

Nine-time GRAMMY-Award winner Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, painter, and guitarist that settled in the Laurel Canyon area of Southern California and is most well known for her iconic Woodstock performance. She started her journey into music by writing poetry and short stories before she even owned a guitar. She started playing and was soon one of the best fingerpicking musicians around.

Mitchell played a huge part in the development of country/folk music during the ’60s and ’70s from the Laurel Canyon area of Southern California. Her songs like “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Moon at The Mercy,” and “Circle Game” were very influential to many other players such as Taylor Swift. She is the embodiment of folk music. Her songs are very raw and acoustic; you can hear her story in every word she sings. Mitchell has released 19 studio albums from 1968 to 2007.

She was a huge influence to many other famous guitarists, including Steve Stills, who said she was one of his favorite artists.
Mitchell was the first female ever to win the prestigious Les Paul Innovation Award, which she received at the 35th Annual TEC Awards at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. This award was created in 1991 by Les Paul himself through his foundation for outstanding and respected individuals in the music industry.

Introducing the award was Les Paul Foundation Executive Director Michael Braunstein. During the introduction, Braunstein referred to Mitchell as a “true renaissance woman.” He went on to say that “her influential albums changed the language of singer-songwriters. Her melding of pop and jazz, innovative lyrics, and unique guitar playing, as well as creating and designing her own guitar tunings and guitars, made her a perfect recipient of this award.”

Mitchell was recently named MusiCares Person of the Year at the pre-Grammy’s 2022 event.
Excerpt from Guitar Girl Magazine article

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