Photos of the legendary Joni Mitchell and friends at the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song VIP dinner and on the red carpet.
Last week, legendary music artists and members of congress joined together in Washington, D.C. to pay tribute to the artistic career of the one and only Joni Mitchell as she was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Mitchell is the 13th recipient and third female music artist to receive the esteemed award following Carole King and Gloria Estefan.
The celebration spanned multiple days kicking off on Tuesday, February 28 at The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress with a VIP honoree dinner including a red-carpet event featuring guests such as “Wonder Woman” actress, Lynda Carter, singer-songwriter Paul Williams, and singer-songwriter Sarah Bareilles. The evening also included a ceremonial Capitol flag presentation from Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Fourteen-time Grammy Award-winning music artist Herbie Hancock was also on stage with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden and David M. Rubenstein, Kennedy Center’s chairman of the board of trustees, for a panel discussion on Mitchell’s career and impact on American culture. Before dinner, the audience was treated to a performance from Brandi Carlile, Sara Bareilles and Lucius (Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe) in the great hall.
On Wednesday, March 1, a tribute concert was held prior to the award presentation at DAR Constitution Hall featuring a red carpet jam-packed with renowned musical artists such as James Taylor, Cyndi Lauper, Graham Nash, Marcus Mumford, Annie Lennox, Brandi Carlile, Herbie Hancock, and Angélique Kidjo. Marcus Mumford kicked off the evening with an acoustic performance of “Carey,” followed by a brief biography of Mitchell’s early life presented by Brandi Carlile. Annie Lennox took the stage to perform a moving rendition of “Both Sides Now” which had the audience on its feet before the song even finished. Congratulatory remarks were also provided via video submission throughout the evening from Billy Joel, Gloria Estefan, Garth Brooks, Carole King and Smokey Robinson.
Towards the end of the evening, members of Congress including, Speaker of The House Kevin McCarthy, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Susan M. Collins, and Representative Bryan Steil joined Dr. Carla Hayden and David M. Rubenstein in presenting Mitchell with the 2023 Gershwin Prize. After receiving her prize, Mitchell surprised the crowd by performing a rendition of Gershwin’s “Summertime” with Brandi Carlile, Lucius and Celisse. The evening was capped off by Mitchell accompanied on stage by Cyndi Lauper, Herbie Hancock, Annie Lennox, Brandi Carlile, Angélique Kidjo, Celisse, Ledisi, James Taylor, and Graham Nash for a rousing rendition of “The Circle Game.” A televised recording of the tribute concert will air on March 31 on PBS stations nationwide. Enjoy photos of the VIP dinner and red carpet by Nate Payne.