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Folk singer Joni Mitchell graced the stage at Newport Folk Festival Sunday, performing her first full set in over twenty years at age 78.
Mitchell joined festival headliner Brandi Carlisle as she recreated the “Joni Jam” music gatherings, previously organized at Mitchell’s Los Angeles home. Other fellow music artists, including Wynonna Judd, Allison Russell and Marcus Mumford, also took part in the “Joni Jam” gathering recreation.
“But how are we gonna have a Joni Jam without our queen?” Carlisle asked the crowd. “We’re not!”
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In her first Newport Folk Festival performance since 1969, the ensemble serenaded Mitchell with several of her hits, including “Circle Game” and “Big Yellow Taxi.”
She eventually took the lead on “Carey” as well as played a “meditative instrumental” piece on the guitar – her first time publicly playing guitar since her 2015 health scare after suffering an aneurysm, according to the Boston Globe.
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Nearing the end of her 13-song set, Mitchell was seen fighting back tears.
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“Did the world just stop? Did everything that was wrong with it just go away?” Mitchell asked the crowd.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.