Joan Baez attends Kennedy Center Honors, meets with Fauci, congratulates Biden and remembers January 6th

In anticipation of the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors airing on Sunday night, iconic folk singer and activist Joan Baez held a small gathering at his Woodside home to credit his artistic achievements. He talked about his experience of receiving the highest honor in the country.

I was invited because Joan and I have been friends for many years. And for full disclosure, she’s the Mill Valley Gallery, Seager Gray Gallery, co-owned by my wife, Donna Seager. Art dealer..

Although scaled down six months later as the country recovered from the pandemic, the festival took place in May for five days, with virtual and live streaming events recorded for CBS’s 8 pm television broadcast. Was mixed.

This year’s honor is widely seen as a joyous breath of fresh air after a dark year. The Washington Post praised them as “a light of hope for the country and its declining arts sector.” On stage with country music superstar Garth Brooks, dancer, choreographer and actor Debbie Allen, violinist Midori, and Dick Van Dyke, Joan said: Again for art and culture. “

But as a lifelong advocate of social justice, Draw a portrait Her enthusiasm for receiving such a prestigious national honor compared to her personal heroes and fellow activists since quitting full-time playing has made us faced as a nation. It has been relieved by the politically harsh times of being. She could not ignore the fact that it happened after the deadly riots in the capital, Capitol, on January 6, and the deaths of more than 594,000 Americans in COVID-19.

To make this opportunity politically meaningful and more meaningful to her, she invited renowned epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci and Washington, DC police Michael Fanone as guests. A one-man campaign against Congressional Republicans claiming that the deadly riots are not a big deal, but regular tourist visits.

Encounter with Fauci

During the most deadly days of the pandemic, when Forch, the nation’s premier epidemiologist, was criticized by then-President Donald Trump and his minions for his boldness to tell the truth about the coronavirus. , Joan posted his portrait on social media media with the word “trust”. At the same time, they exchanged friendly letters with text messages.

She was able to meet him for the first time when he arrived, surrounded by four strong bodyguards, as a guest at the awards ceremony at the center’s opera house.

“He gave me a big hug.’I feel like I’ve known you all the time.'” She remembered emotionally. “‘Feelings communicate with each other.’ “said”

Fauci in a black tie was the focus of attention in a room with big music and entertainment stars.

“He was a frigid rock star,” says Joan. “I don’t remember seeing anything like that — an extraordinarily central and decent person. He was exactly what you expected.”

Someone at a rally at Joan’s house said that Joan and Forch made a pretty handsome 80-year-old couple sitting at one of the socially distant tables in the room with 128 other guests. Told.

Office serenade

The tradition of the President greeting the five winners (Mr. Trump’s nose) at the White House was revived by President Biden, who warmly welcomed them and their guests to the presidential office. Joan, accompanied by his teenage granddaughter Jasmine Harris, spurred the opportunity with an improvisational performance of the civil rights anthem “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”

“I said,’Joe, this is for you,'” she recalls. “It was a big hit.”

Biden was so fascinated that he didn’t want to end the moment. “He obviously liked the people who gathered around and asked questions,” says Joan. “He couldn’t stop himself. He wanted to tell a story and took us out of the Oval Office to see the White House gardens.”

Vice President Kamala Harris finally appeared, hugging Joan’s granddaughter.

Fanone stands alone

Joan arrived in Washington with a black T-shirt featuring a portrait of Fanone surrounded by riot equipment, with the infamous date of January 6, 2021. We are dealing with violence and now PTSD.

One afternoon she had lunch with him and his family and invited him to a tribute concert in the concert hall.

Joan’s son, Gabe Harris of Fairfax, accompanied him on this trip, playing percussion in his mother’s band. “All the men he works with will say they agree with him, but no one wants to lose his pension and no one wants to lose his job. He stands by someone I want it, but for now, he’s the only one. “

At a 75-minute tribute concert for the winners, Joan was congratulated by Mary Chapan Carpenter and Emiloo Harris, and Joan’s original “Diamonds and Rust”, “God is God” from the album “The Day After Tomorrow”, and classics. I sang a medley. The struggle song “We Shall Overcome”. Oberin-educated Americana singer, fiddle and banjoist Rhiannon Giddens, along with Joan’s longtime sideman Louisiana multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, is a traditional folk made famous by Joan. I read the song “Silver Dagger”.

“They did a great job,” she says.

Joan turned the organizer upside down when he always frankly admitted that he had to ask the manager if the Kennedy Center’s honor was a big deal. However, she has always been in conflict with the awards and has won many awards, including her lifelong achievements at the Grammy Awards, the Woody Guthrie Award, and the Amnesty International Ambassador of Good Sense Award. There is nothing on display in her house. After she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she used the trophy as a dumbbell and felt it was the perfect weight for back exercise.

So it’s no wonder her favorite moment came last night after an outdoor concert on the Kennedy Center veranda overlooking the Potomac River. When Giddens and Powell played banjos and fiddles, and unplanned, vibrant, old-fashioned country tunes, no one needed to guide Joan and her aides to the dance floor.

“I was standing and sitting and chatting with people for four days, I just wanted to dance,” she says. “It was a fun part and had nothing to do with winning the award.”

Please contact Paul Liberatore (p.liberatore@comcast.net).

Joan Baez attends Kennedy Center Honors, meets with Fauci, congratulates Biden and remembers January 6th

Source link Joan Baez attends Kennedy Center Honors, meets with Fauci, congratulates Biden and remembers January 6th

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