Here’s why Joni Mitchell’s performance at the Newport Folk Festival is so incredible

Here’s why Joni Mitchell’s performance at the Newport Folk Festival is so incredible

Published July 26, 2022
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Brandi Carlile (right) introduces Joni Mitchell for a special Joni Jam at the 2022 Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams State Park, R.I., on Sunday. Carlin Stiehl for Boston Globe via Getty Images hide caption

Joni Mitchell’s surprise performance at the Newport Folk Festival on Sunday is already becoming the stuff of legend. The unsuspecting crowd roared as the singer-songwriter stepped onto the stage in her first public performance since suffering a debilitating brain aneurysm in 2015.

And they continued to revel as the nine-time Grammy-winning singer regaled the lucky audience with many of her most beloved songs, including “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Both Sides Now,” as well as a cover of “Summertime.”

Many devoted fans never thought this day would come again after Mitchell’s brain aneurysm – an abnormal swelling in an artery in the brain – which left her unable to speak or walk, much less play the guitar.