Celebrate Joni Mitchell's music with Kimberly Ford at The Palms on Saturday, Nov. 10

Kimberly Ford (pictured) and her band will bring a celebration of Joni Mitchell’s music to The Palms Playhouse (13 Main St., Winters) on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $23.

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Starting in the late 1960s, Joni Mitchell’s poetic tales of free men in Paris, buskers who played for free and love lost and found raised the folk music bar. In time, she would meld rock, jazz and world music into a sophisticated style that captured the world’s attention and nine Grammy awards. Now singer and guitarist Kimberly Ford has created “A Celebration of Joni Mitchell,” a show in which she and a five-piece band pay tribute to Mitchell’s music. Ford will bring her Joni Mitchell show to The Palms Playhouse on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $23. Ford has been a Joni Mitchell fan since her coming-of-age years. She learned to sing using Mitchell’s soul-baring 1971 album “Blue” as a primer, and said recently that Mitchell’s “poetry and melodies spoke to my experiences before I even had a language for them.” Ford and the band perform nuanced versions of Mitchell’s quintessential classics. Rather than resorting to tribute band-style mimicry, they instead deliver a celebration of Mitchell’s artistry. Mitchell ranks as the poet laureate of the 1960s singer-songwriters. Over more than three decades, she molded contemporary folk with elements of rock, jazz and world music into a sophisticated and peerless sound. Her canon of work is more relevant today than ever. NPR’s Ann Powers said that “after nearly fifty years, ‘Blue’ remains the clearest and most animated musical map to the new world that women traced, sometimes invisibly, within their daily lives in the aftermath of the utopian, dream-crushing 1960s.” Mitchell’s 75th birthday is just three days before the Palms show, making the tribute particularly timely. In addition to Ford, the band is George Friedenthal (Kenny Loggins) on keyboards, piano and melodica; Lee Rollag (Roger Miller) on guitar and violin; Tom Buckner (Grant Geissman) on saxophone; Tom Etchart (Dianne Reeves) on bass and Charles Levin (Madeline Eastman) on drums and percussion. The band covers a large swath of Mitchell’s repertoire with a focus on her early years through 1980. Songs in their repertoire include “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Both Sides Now,” “Woodstock.” “Free Man in Paris,” “Court and Spark,” “Help Me,” “Conversation,” “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio,” “Blue” and “River.” Andy Gilbert of Santa Cruz’s Good Times wrote, “Possessing a bright and flexible soprano that effortlessly rises into Mitchell’s upper range, Ford has spent the past four years honing a vast array of Mitchell material, from the hits to the misses (as Joni once called her favorite songs that didn’t connect at the time).” Ford has released with four CDs, spanning jazz to Americana genres. She teaches privately and also works as a clinician with the Santa Barbara Vocal Jazz Foundation. Ford is co-director of the Santa Barbara Jazz Camp and on the vocal faculty of the Northwoods Jazz Camp in Wisconsin. Tickets for the Nov. 10 show are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and Eventbrite and at the door if not sold out. For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com and www.celebrationofjonimitchell.com.]]>

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