Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell

Hattie Whitehead vocals and guitars
Pete Oxley
Ollie Weston
Chris Eldred
piano and keyboards
Dave Jones
electric basses
Rick Finlay
Keith Fairbairn


Oxford Festival of the Arts is delighted to present a special treat for all fans of Joni Mitchell’s music. Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell, led by acclaimed guitarist Pete Oxley with Hattie Whitehead on vocals. Hejira has developed from a one-off gig into a highly successful touring band that performs the masterpiece works that Mitchell captured in her live 1980 album, Shadows and Light.

This is a phenomenal line-up, as was the original band of top-drawer players in Joni’s Shadows and Light outfit (Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Michael Brecker, Jaco Pastorius and Don Alias).

The sets will include Coyote, Woodstock, In France they Kiss on Main Street, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Free Man in Paris, Amelia, Black Crow, and of course, Hejira.



Hattie Whitehead: vocals and guitars The band is fronted by the extraordinarily talented Hattie Whitehead, who not only sings masterfully with Joni’s pitch-accuracy, poise and dignity, but she also plays guitar much with the mannerisms of Mitchell (incorporating various open tunings – which lend an instant authenticity to the colour of the songs). Hattie grew up surrounded by music and musicians – her father is the outstanding saxophonist, Tim Whitehead – and has a career as a singer/songwriter outside of this band. In 2016, she won the ‘Emerging Talent’ competition at Glastonbury Festival. Her original songs have been listened to hundreds of thousands of times on various streaming platforms.

Pete Oxley: guitar Pete grew up in a family of classical musicians, fell for jazz in his late teens, went on to study jazz at the Leeds College of Music, then moved to Paris in his mid twenties. It was there that he began gigging intensively and developing his career as a guitarist, composer and bandleader. He has produced 16 albums of critically acclaimed original music (including 7 with the Swiss guitar virtuoso, Nicolas Meier) and is one of only a handful of British composers to have their works included in the ‘European Real Book’ (Sher Publications). The Oxley-Meier Guitar Project continues to record and tour extensively throughout the UK and Europe.

Ollie Weston: saxophones Since graduating from Leeds College of Music, Ollie has had a diverse career which has included education, session work and live performance. In the former of these, Ollie teaches at the Guildhall (London) and has major tutorial books published by Schott Music under the heading, ‘Exploring Jazz’. In the latter, Ollie has toured all over the world with such outfits as Amy Winehouse, Tim Minchin, Bonobo and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. He has also worked extensively in the West End, performing in Chicago, Dream Girls and in two critically acclaimed seasons at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Chris Eldred: piano and keyboards Chris first came to prominence while playing in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), from 2008 to 2014. In the midst of that period, he was winner of the 2011 Yamaha Scholarship Award for Outstanding Jazz Musicians and graduated in the same year from Trinity College of Music with first class honours. With NYJO, he performed many high-profile gigs (such as at the Albert Hall Proms) and came to the attention of such established masters as Mark Lockheart, Jean Toussaint and Salena Jones, with whom he subsequently worked. He is now a regular performer at Ronnie Scott’s and is one of London’s most in-demand pianists.

Dave Jones: electric basses Dave is one of the most brilliant bass players – on both electric and acoustic basses that the UK has produced! His deep musicianship has led him to work with, amongst others, John Etheridge, Bill Bruford, the BBC Big Band, Jacqui Dankworth, Willard White and Scott Hamilton. He is bandleader, arranger and composer of the ‘Dave Jones Nonet’, comprising the creme de la creme of UK jazz musicians. Dave is continually active in jazz education leading many courses at Richmond Jazz School where he also previously led the faculty and he is also regularly invited to teach on a number of international jazz summer schools.

Rick Finlay: drums Rick’s career has seen him being perpetually occupied, dividing his time between London’s West End, education and performing as a jazz musician. In the former, Rick held the drum chair at Blood Brothers for twenty years and also played for The Little Shop of Horrors and Chess Time. As a freelancer, Rick has performed on many prestigious TV shows, including Parkinson, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and The Late Show.  Rick has, for several years, been hosting the ‘Just East Jazz Club’ in North London, where he has accompanied most of the UK’s jazz glitterati!

Keith Fairbairn: percussion Keith has long been the go-to percussionist for many leading musicians, internationally. His discography is extensive, including recordings with Madeline Bell, Marti Webb, Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Mulford-MacFarlane Group. He is a master of all percussion instruments, from the smallest chimes to the full-size marimba. Keith’s understanding of Joni Mitchell’s music adds not only additional groove he is a specialist conga player), but an array of invaluable aural colours.


Jul 13 2023


8:00 pm

More Info

Book here


Festival Marquee
Festival Marquee
Magdalen College School, Oxford