Joan Baez is part of the history of American popular music alongside Bob Dylan. She continues her career inexorably across theworld, always deeply engaged in the fight for liberty. This engagement stems from an unshakeable spiritual conviction held ever since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of 28 August 1963. It was here that Martin Luther King Jr made his 'I have a dream' speech and Joan Baez sang 'We Shall Overcome'.
The rejection Baez suffered by her white and Mexican friends because of a mixed-race background (her mother was Irish and her father Mexican), and a great sensibility in the face of world suffering, pushed her into expressing herself through music, fascinated as she was at the time by the great black singer Odetta.
In Boston she followed in the musical footsteps of Pete Seeger while the folk and protest song movement boomed. And then it was the famous meeting with Bob Dylan which launched her to stardom along with her faithful interpretation of the most historic songs such as With God on Our Side and later Farewell Angelina. Her ambiguous relationship with Dylan was described in Diamonds and Rust.
Throughout her career Baez has always fought for human rights. In 1972 she went to Vietnam during the bombing of Hanoi, and continued her battle for liberty and against the death penalty across the world, including Sarajevo in 1993. An Amnesty International militant, she has also created her own association, Humanitas International.
Today Baez has a fundamental influence on a new generation of singers from Norah Jones to Katie Melua, from Souad Massi to Tunisian Emel Mathlouthi. At a time when folk and acoustic music are returning to the forefront of music, Joan Baez, radiant and tough, continues to travel around the world with determination and grace.