In Celebration of Joni Mitchell’s 75th birthday, the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, and in continuation of her ongoing seven-year celebration of the music of Joni Mitchell, West Village resident Hannah Reimann will present concert performances of Mitchell’s music, entitled Both Sides Now, from April 22th through May 4th as part of Fort Green, Brooklyn’s Irondale Center arts festival, On Women.
Both Sides Now features Reimann on lead vocals, piano, and dulcimer with guest guitarist Michele Temple. Expanding on multiple collaborations with Temple, the duo will present a program that will feature over a dozen classic singles from Mitchell’s 1966-1974 catalog, including Woodstock, Big Yellow Taxi, River, Rainy Night House, A Case of You, Court and Spark, California, Blue, and of course, Both Sides Now.
Reimann and director Austin Pendleton (taking on a new role as music director for this concert performance) have chosen which of Mitchell’s songs to present at this retrospective of her excellent early work. This is an exciting collaboration, built upon their 20-plus years of knowing each other and working together professionally. Because of the poetic and long descriptions of the songs, often akin to monologues and speeches in plays, Reimann felt that Pendleton was a good fit for the project.
In 2010, Both Sides Now offered inspiration to Reimann during her painful and exhausting experience of providing weekly caregiving and, eventually, end-of-life care for her aged and Alzheimer’s-stricken father. As a means to cope with the stress, Hannah began to learn—song by song— Mitchell’s timeless album, Blue. She discovered that the music provided a profound emotional release, spurring her on to engage more deeply with Mitchell’s entire catalog. Both Sides Now gave voice to Reimann’s growth as an artist, a daughter and a human as she looked to Joni Mitchell’s work for hope and guidance.
Reimann explains, “Audience reactions have been surprisingly moving to me. Some listeners come to tell me that hearing them makes them feel better, others request particular songs that they love and feel very strongly that they need to hear them. I took on the project for my own healing and found that I could also help others. The healing power of music resounds in Joni Mitchell’s music; player and listener alike benefit, a gift that I will never take for granted.”
Hannah has been performing since the age of two, as a vocalist, instrumentalist, educator, composer, actor and filmmaker. Her pedagogical lineage, via multiple generations, can be traced back to Beethoven. She has played classical music and sung in rock bands since she was a child. Over the course of her varied and multi-genre career, Reimann has played concert piano at Lincoln Center, fronted a punk band in Japan, appeared in over 20 independent films, performed with the Main Squeeze Accordion Orchestra, performed Astor Piazzolla’s music internationally with Grammy-nominated violist Paul Coletti, and directed the documentary My Father’s House: A Journey of Love and Memory (terranova.org). She is also a composer whose songs have been on XM Satellite and Sirius airwaves for over seventeen years. She was recently awarded a grant by the prestigious Café Royale Cultural Foundation to complete an EP of her original music. She has been commissioned to create music of various genres for more than two decades.
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