Joni Mitchell and Friends in Concert Tonight

Tonight is Joni Mitchell‘s Gershwin Prize concert at DAR Constitution Hall. The Gershwin Prize is presented each year by the Library of Congress to a living person who has made lasting contributions to popular music.

The concert is free, but most tickets go to VIPs. So the audience features Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, diplomats, and the like, as well as high-level officials from the Library of Congress and from PBS, which records the event to televise. The general public is not invited.

But my husband Bob, who works at the Library of Congress, was able to get a ticket, as he usually does. He is basically a seat filler, meant to fill the empty seats between the groups of VIP ticket holders, so that the PBS broadcast will show a full house. (Not that there is ever any shortage of LC and PBS staffers who want to go. And, of course, if tickets were available to the general public, there would never be an empty seat.)

Some years, he has been able to get two tickets, and not even as seat fillers. So I have been to several Gershwin Prize concerts with him, and they are always fantastic! The first half is made up of performances of the honoree’s songs by other top-name performers. This year, those stars will include James Taylor, Diana Krall, Graham Nash, Annie Lennox, Herbie Hancock, and more. Then the winner herself will perform the second half of the concert. In the past, I’ve attended the Gershwin Prize concerts honoring Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, and Tony Bennett. But in recent years, the event has become so popular among the D.C. movers and shakers that Bob usually cannot manage a ticket for me any more. So I will have to wait to see it televised on PBS in a few weeks.

I’m glad he has the opportunity to go. I know he will have a great time; Joni Mitchell is one of his all-time favorites.

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