Activist musician Joan Baez in Turkey once again

Activist musician Joan Baez in Turkey once again

Activist musician Joan Baez in Turkey once again

Joan Baez is known as one of the leading names among activist musicians since 1953, or since she was 18 years old. She became immortal as the indispensable voice of songs written for freedom and human rights in the music world since the first Newport Folk Festival. 

Legendary artist Joan Baez, who has witnessed music history, will bring an unforgettable night to her fans at Istanbul’s Harbiye Open-Air Theater with her new album “Whistle Down the Wind” on July 22 as part of her Fare Thee Well Tour. 

Baez, whose 1975 album “Diamonds & Rust” was a big success, featured singers such as Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, John Prine, Stevie Wonder & Syreeta, Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band and Bob Dylan, leaving half a century behind in music. 

The winner of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, she recently received Amnesty International’s “Conscience and Conscience” award in May 2015. 

In an exclusive interview, Baez talked about her career and upcoming concert in Istanbul. 

Your music expression is influenced by global issues like wars, humanitarian crises, etc. When you are singing on stage, what do you think about? 

It depends on the public. Sometimes I am totally present with the music. Everything is in place where I am; the language I am speaking, the order of the songs etc., feeding us back with energy. If the audience is bad, I am remote. 

Your latest album released in 2018 is called “Whistle Down the Wind.” How did you choose the songs? 

It takes a long time to find the right songs. That is the part that generally takes the longest. We started a year and a half before. I am just trying to find the right mix of songs and I think we got it right. The album has included new songs and these songs are from my favorite composers. 

What do you suggest to young singers of these times?

The only thing I can suggest to young singers is what has given my life real richness has been involving music with human rights and civil rights for people who cannot speak for themselves. I can tell young singers to go on to do this. 

You lived in Baghdad when you were a child because of your father’s job. What comes to your mind from that period of your life? 

I was a 10-year-old American child. It was something very few of us have been able to experience. It was unlike anything we ever knew. We were very sensitive to the poverty. I think it remained with the whole family. We have memories like that, it was also very sad and I was very sick. 

Do you have any special ritual for relaxation before going on stage?

I do. These concerts have gone so well, some days I do not do anything and I just sing. If there is any problem or if it is a special concert, I feel a little anxious. I use hypnosis, I correct myself, and I do all this work at a subconscious level. 

What kind of repertoire will we hear on July 22? 

In fact, it will be a combination of songs everyone remembers as well as songs from the new album. 

Do you have a message for Turkish fans? 

I have been waiting for so long. I am excited to be coming back to Turkey.