Joni Mitchell makes rare live appearance and performs at Library of Congress

She performed live across two nights in Washington DC

Joni Mitchell made a rare live appearance to perform at the Library of Congress as part of the Gershwin Prize awards this week.

Mitchell appeared at the Library of Congress in Washington DC on Thursday (March 2) as part of the LOC’s Gershwin Prize week. Footage shared on social media from the event shows Mitchell performing her 1966 hit ‘The Circle Game’ and ‘Summertime’ – see below.

The Canadian folk singer was at the Library as part of the Live at the Library series in conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. It formed part of the LOC’s Gershwin prize week events, which also saw Mitchell honoured with the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.


Joni Mitchell performs in DC, March 2023
Joni Mitchell performs live onstage in Washington DC 2023. CREDIT: Getty

Following the event, Hayden shared a touching clip of Mitchell and herself walking out of the Library. In the video the ‘Both Sides Now’ singer sang ‘Charleston Alley’ by jazz icons Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.

The previous evening (March 1), Mitchell had also graced the stage at DC’s DAR Constitution Hall. She performed the same two songs as part of all-star tribute concert in her honour.

Among the night’s performers were Mitchell’s former partner Graham Nash, her longtime friend James Taylor, and Brandi Carlile – who is spearheading Mitchell’s big headline comeback show this summer at the Gorge in George, Washington state.


Cyndi Lauper also appeared on stage and led a large group of artists through ‘Big Yellow Taxi’. Following that Annie Lennox sang ‘Both Sides Now’. Marcus Mumford, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock, Ledisi, and Angélique Kidjo are also reported to have performed.

The show was a by invitation only event, however, PBS stations will broadcast the concert titled Joni Mitchell: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at 9 pm Eastern Time on Friday, March 31. For those without access to PBS on a TV, the concert will also be aired on and the PBS App. A clip from the show was posted by CBC (See above).

Mitchell is only the third woman to win the prize in its history. Speaking at the event, the Canadian broadcaster reported Mitchell as saying: “”It’s just a beautiful event for me. So many people that I care about are here tonight from different parts of my life … It’s just kind of thrilling. Thank you all for coming.”

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