About Dan About Town
Party photographer Dan Swartz’s diary of bashes, benefits, and galas.
The festivities surrounding this year’s Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song officially kicked-off Tuesday night, with a grand dinner celebrating 2023 honoree Joni Mitchell.
While the official prize won’t be awarded until tonight’s tribute concert at DAR Constitution Hall, yesterday’s honoree dinner was no less star-studded. Guests were treated to a surprise performance from Brandi Carlile, Sara Bareilles, Jess Wolfe, and Holly Laessig (the latter two are the lead vocalists of indie pop band Lucius). And Mitchell was presented with a ceremonial flag flown over the U.S. Capitol by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senator Amy Klobuchar.
The who’s who guest list for the dinner included both music-industry celebrities (James Taylor, Angélique Kidjo, Cyndi Lauper, Graham Nash, and more) and Washingtonian VIPs (David Rubenstein, Jean and Steve Case, and more) and featured a three-course menu served on the second floor of the Library of Congress’s Great Hall.
The Gershwin Prize “celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects the influence, impact and achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding” and was first awarded in 2007.