Article Date: 25/03/2007
Location: Teatro Obihall
Joan Chandos Baez (Staten Island, Jan. 9, 1941) is an American singer of folk music, also known for his political and artistic and sentimental union engagement with Bob Dylan.
Convinced pacifist, always engaged for civil rights, Baez was against US military intervention in Vietnam since 1964 and came to be deducted from the amount owed to the IRS 60%, which would be allocated to the costs of the war.
From the experience of 1972, when it passed Christmas in a Hanoi destroyed by bombing, he was born the album Where are you now, my son? (1973).
Joan Baez was born in Staten Island, New York, to a Quaker family of English origin, Scottish and Mexican. His father, the physicist Albert Baez, refused positions of prestige in the field of military defense, probably influencing these choices the next political commitment of Joan in the fields of pacifism and civil rights protection. Because of his job, the family had to move frequently, both across the US and in France, Switzerland, Italy and the Middle East, where they lived in 1951. Joan, then only ten years old, was very impressed by poverty and living conditions of the population of Baghdad. In the late 50s Albert Baez accepted a job at MIT in Boston, where he moved with his family. In that period the city was the center of the folk music scene, Joan began attending the local university and performing in clubs in the area, often at the Club 47 Mount Auburn in Cambridge, where he was paid $ 20 a night for two nights a week. With other artists who performed at the club recorded his first album, Folksingers' Round Harvard Square.
Joan's artistic career began in 1959, with his participation at the Newport Folk Festival and the incision in the following year his first album Joan Baez, a collection of folk ballads and blues performed for solo voice and guitar that found moderate success public.
Her second release, Joan Baez, Vol. 2 (1961) went gold, as well as subsequent discs live Joan Baez in Concert, Part 1 and Part 2 published in 1962 and 1963. In those years, Joan Baez emerges as exponent of the revival of the root-American folk, presenting his concerts, then a less famous Bob Dylan and inspiring other singers such as Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt.
During this period, in which the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil rights in the United States become the central themes of political and social debates in the country, Joan Baez begins to shift his attention on them, to make his music and its political commitment basically inseparable. His execution of We Shall Overcome in the march of Martin Luther King in Washington joined permanently to that hymn; also he began in his concerts to express more explicitly its opposition to the war in Vietnam by publicly announcing his tax resistance to military spending, refusing to pay 60% of the taxes - the share allocated to the ministry of defense - and encouraging the conscientious objection to military service. In 1965 he founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence.
In 1968 married David Harris, a pacifist movement leader imprisoned for his draft evasion; the marriage lasted until 1973. Harris, a country music fan, move the style of Joan toward more complex country-rock of David's Album. The same year Joan Baez performed at the Woodstock festival getting a musical resonance and at the global level policy, especially after the release of the film-documentary about the festival. His interpretation of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, 1971, became one of the 10 best-selling singles in the United States.
The political commitment of Joan Baez is not less over the years. During Christmas of 1972, it joins a peace delegation that crosses the North Vietnam is calling for respect of human rights in the state, that to deliver mail and Christmas greetings to US prisoners of war. During his stay rages on Hanoi the "Christmas bombing" ordered by Richard Nixon: for eleven days the city is bombed continuously.
In the early '70s, Joan devotes much of his time to support the foundation of the US branch of Amnesty International. also it denounces the violations of human rights in Communist Vietnam through the publication (30 May 1979) of an open letter in which he accused the regime of having created a nightmare. It went in 1981 in Chile, Brazil and Argentina, but in none of the three countries are allowed to perform, local governments do not wish that his views on torture and disappearances reach the wide audience that otherwise would have. A film of the unlucky tour, There but for Fortune has been transmit from the US public television (PBS) in 1982.
Joan Baez opened the part of the Philadelphia Live Aid concert in 1985 and held several concerts in the years to support other causes, including Amnesty International activities.
He takes part in the protest in August 2005 he participated in the Texas war protest movement started by Cindy Sheehan, the following month he sings Amazing Grace during the "Burning Man festival" as part of a tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and in December 2005 against the execution of Tookie Williams.
Joan Baez has a son, Gabriel Harris, and currently lives in Woodside, California.
1. Folksingers' Round Harvard Square (1959)
2. Joan Baez, Vanguard (November 1960)
3. Joan Baez, Vol. 2, Vanguard (October 1961)
4. Joan Baez in Concert, Part 1, Vanguard (September 1962)
5. Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2, Vanguard (November 1963)
6. Joan Baez / 5, Vanguard (November 1964)
7. Farewell Angelina, Vanguard (November 1965)
8. Noel, Vanguard (December 1966)
9. Joan, Vanguard (August 1967)
10. Live in Italy, Vanguard (September 1967)
11. Baptism: A Journey Through Our Time, Vanguard (June 1968)
12. Any Day Now (Songs of Bob Dylan), Vanguard (December 1968)
13. David's Album, Vanguard (May 1969)
14. One Day at a Time, Vanguard (January 1970)
15. July 24, 1970 Live at the Arena Civica in Milan, Vanguard (September 1970)
16. Blessed Are ..., Vanguard (1971)
17. Come from the Shadows, A & M (April 1972)
18. Where Are You Now, My Son ?, A & M (March 1973)
19. Gracias a la Vida, A & M (July 1974)
20. Diamonds & Rust, A & M (April 1975)
21. From Every Stage, A & M (February 1976)
22. Gulf Winds, A & M (November 1976)
23. Blowin 'Away, CBS (July 1977)
24. Honest Lullaby, CBS (April 1979)
25. Live -Europe '83, Gamma (January 1984)
26. Recently, Gold Castle (July 1987)
27. Diamonds & Rust in the Bullring, Castle Gold (December 1988)
28. Speaking of Dreams, Gold Castle (November 1989)
29. Play Me Backwards, Virgin (October 1992)
30. Ring Them Bells, Guardian (August 1995)
31. Gone from Danger, Guardian (September 1997)
32. Dark Chords on a Big Guitar, Koch (October 2003)
33. Bowery Songs, Koch (September 2005)
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