Joan Baez

Joan Baez (CA)


The Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society regrets to announce that, due to a medical condition which has affected her voice, Joan Baez will not be performing at this year’s festival.

We received the following communication from Ms. Baez’s management team late Friday: “due to viral laryngitis…and on the advice of her throat specialist…performing would risk injury to her vocal chords.”

We join our audience and Joan’s many fans in wishing her a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing her perform again soon.

In the summer of 1958, Joan Chandos Baez, a 17-year old high school graduation (by the skin of her teeth) moved with her parents and sisters from Palo Alto to Boston. They drove cross-country to the sound of the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” all over the radio.

A stunning soprano, Joan’s natural vibrato lent a taut, nervous tension to everything she sang. Yet even as an 18-year old, introduced to the stage of the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, her repertoire reflected an artist who cared deeply about the human condition.

Great songs and a rock-solid commitment to progressive activism are what marked Baez’s next 56 years, and she remains a musical force of nature with an incalculable influence on both the music and the politics of our era.

She has marched, spoken out, challenged authority, put herself on the line and fought for the rights of the oppressed on her own, and hand in hand with the likes of Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. She has sung countless songs that are part of the songbook of all of our lives, and championed the works of innumerable other great artists – from Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, to Bob Dylan and Steve Earle and many, many more.

A true legend, Joan Baez’s accomplishments and credits are far too varied and numerous to catalogue here – but for us, the best description, the one that sums it all up is “folk singer”.