Add to Calendar20161015 19:0020161015 23:59:00America/New_YorkJoan BaezDoors open at 7:00 PM. More show details at: https://wellmonttheater.com/shows/joan-baez/The Wellmont Theater, 5 Seymour St, Montclair, NJ 07042
About Joan Baez
The voice can be a powerful instrument in music and social activism. For Joan Baez, through many years of performance, writing, and speaking out, the voice is a symbol of an individual’s power to effect change. She was born in Staten Island, New York, January 9, 1941, the daughter of Dr. Albert Baez, a physicist. Baez’s autobiography, And a Voice to Sing With, details her childhood as a faculty child in Ithaca, New York, and in Bagdad, Redlands, and Palo Alto, California, where she attended high school and began to play the guitar. Relocated to the Boston area, where her father had joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she attended Boston University and began to perform professionally at small clubs, such as Tulla’s Coffee Grinder. Her two years of apprenticeship in the Boston area brought her to the attention of Bob Gibson, who invited her to participate in the 1959 Newport Folk Festival.
Baez began a long association with Vanguard Records, then America’s foremost folk label, in 1960 with her album Joan Baez. It brought acclaim and invitations to perform in folk clubs and concert halls throughout the college circuit and major cities. She soon became a symbol of the folk revival and was featured on the cover of Time. Her voice, described by Robert Shelton in a 1960 review of an early concert in the New York Times, was a “a soprano voice, surprisingly never trained, that has a purity, penetrating clarity and control that not a few art singers would envy. With seeming effortlessness, Miss Baez produced a purling, spun-gold tone particularly suited to the lyric Anglo-American songs and ballads that made up most of her program.” The phrase, “achingly pure soprano,” cited often by critics over the last 25 years, also dates from this first concert tour. She has denied the importance of the “purity” of her voice in interviews throughout her long career. In a 1963 article by Nat Hentoff, for example, she praised interpretation over mere quality: “I think of a rural folk singer—Doc Watson’s mother—whose voice might not seem beautiful to some people. But her voice has a straightness, an honesty, a purity. On the other hand, a voice may have all the tone quality and all the vibrato you could ask for, and yet it’ll sound so bland that it has no beauty at all.” Baez’s voice, her songs, guitar style, and even her long flowing hair set a pattern for a generation of young folk singers and balladeers. The hair was cut in 1968, and the soprano has darkened and mellowed but the influence remains strong.
Her tour of campuses was also noteworthy for Baez’s refusal to perform in segregated arenas and concert halls—a decision that led her to limit the Southern part of her tours to black colleges. Raised as a Quaker, she also refused to pay that part of her Federal Income Tax which, the Society of Friends believed, was used for