For nearly 60 years idealist, pacifist and champion of human rights Joan Baez (75) has been trying to make the world a better place by doing what she does best: performing wonderful folk music which reaches the heart.
With that characteristic vibrato which glides in and out of falsetto, she has spellbound audiences since her debut album in 1960. She gave her ex, Bob Dylan, a kick-start to his career by bringing him up on stage long before his breakthrough, she has marched with Martin Luther King, and she has sung for Nelson Mandela.
When she recently celebrated her 75th birthday in New York, a star-spangled list of guests congratulated the forever young musician. When she now comes to Trondheim and Nidaros Cathederal to perform Diamonds and Rust and We Shall Overcome, we will meet this front figure of American folk music in a more intimate and personal setting.
The woman who has worn out many a vinyl LP for today’s adult generation could just as well top the charts today, for there is something universal about the way she presents her unique talent, the impact of her storytelling and her song writing skills. Even with her background as an icon, she never falls into the temptation of going against her non-commercial principles. Baez is not the kind of person who can be bought. Her weapon is her acoustic guitar.
By being socially and politically active and through her involvement in the peace movement for more than 50 years, she has influenced politicians and cultural scenes all over the world. As a 15-year-old she refused to swear allegiance to the American flag, she travelled to Hanoi in 1972 and protested against the Vietnam War in an inferno of conflict, she was in the frontline when civil rights were being fought for in the USA, and more recently she has spoken out against the death penalty.
It is not just music that fires her:
– It’s easy. I fight for what I believe in!