Joan Baez Recruits Paul Simon, Mavis Staples for Tour-Launching Event

Iconic singer-songwriter announces 18-date North American tour, opening with 75th birthday performance in New York City

Joan Baez will launch a North American tour with a birthday event in New York City featuring Paul Simon, Mavis Staples and more Credit: Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty

Joan Baez has recruited an all-star lineup for her 75th birthday celebration – including Paul Simon, Mavis Staples and Richard Thompson – planned for January 27th at New York City's Beacon Theatre. That event will launch the folk pioneer's upcoming North American tour, which spans 18 dates throughout February and March. 

Baez's Beacon show – which also includes Judy Collins, Jackson Browne, Mary Chapin Carpenter, David Bromberg, Damien Rice, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls and Nano Stern – will be recorded for television as part of PBS' Great Performances series. 

Baez, a prominent figure in the Sixties civil rights movement, has teamed with Amnesty International to raise awareness of mass incarceration of disenfranchised minorities in the United States. Amnesty representatives will be present during each of the tour dates, engaging with audiences to solicit support on this human rights crisis. 

"I am pleased once again to be joining forces with Amnesty International, this time on the critical and urgent issue of racial and ethnic disparities of incarceration, right here in the United States," the musician said in a statement. 

"We are excited to continue our longstanding collaboration with Joan and look forward to welcoming her fans to join Amnesty International and take action on human rights issues here in the United States," said Margaret Huang, interim executive director of Amnesty International USA. "The United States is the leading jailer in the world. Together, we can change that."

In March 2015, Baez's self-titled 1960 debut LP was selected for inclusion into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, along with acts like Radiohead, the Doors and Sly and the Family Stone.

Joan Baez Tour Dates

January 27 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
January 30 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Hill Auditorium
February 27 - Toronto, ON @ Koerner Hall
February 28 - Ithaca, NY @ State Theater
March 1 - Concord, NH @ Capitol Center for the Arts
March 3 - New Haven, CT @ Shubert Theatre
March 5 - Burlington, VT @ Flynn Center
March 6 - Englewood, NJ @ Bergen PAC
March 8 - Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre
March 9 - Frederick, MD @ Weinberg Center for the Arts
March 12 - Lexington, KY @ Lexington Opera House
March 16 - Charleston, SC @ Charleston Music Hall
March 17 - Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall
March 19 - Birmingham, AL @ Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center
March 20 - Durham, NC @ Page Auditorium at Duke University
March 23 - Wilmington, DE @ The Grand
March 25 - Albany, NY @ The Egg
March 26 - Buffalo, NY @ Asbury Hall