Martin Scorsese Hosted a Tribute Concert for Robbie Robertson with Performances from Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell, and More

On Wednesday, November 15, Martin Scorsese held a private tribute concert for the late Robbie Robertson, who composed the music for Scorsese’s recent film Killers of the Flower Moon. The film score was Robertson’s last project before his death on August 9. Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone, who starred in the film, were in attendance, with Joni Mitchell and other friends of Robertson gathering at his Los Angeles studio to pay tribute as well.

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Jackson Browne performed various Robertson hits and selections from the Killers of the Flower Moon score and was joined by Rocco DeLuca, Citizen Cope, Angela McCluskey, Blake Mills, Jim Keltner, and Jason Isbell, according to a report from Variety.

Along with celebrating his life and music, the concert was also held to celebrate Robertson’s posthumous Hollywood Music in Media Award, which he received for best score for a feature film for his work on Killers of the Flower Moon.

[RELATED: ‘The Last Waltz’ Director Martin Scorsese Shares Tribute to Robbie Robertson]

Robertson’s mother was Mohawk and Cayuga and was raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve. In his address at the concert, Scorsese mentioned Robertson’s link with his Indigenous heritage, and how that was translated into his work on the film. “I think that for Robbie this was a pinnacle in our collaboration, on this picture, which is dedicated to him,” said Scorsese. “In a way, I think he was destined to score ‘Killers,’ which unfolded in the world of the Native American community, in this case the Osage Nation. It was almost as if Robbie had come home. I think he created one of the most beautiful scores ever written for a film. His music is the beating heart of the picture.” 

Rocco DeLuca and Johnny Shepherd opened the concert with a stripped-down rendition of The Band’s “Twilight,” followed by “They Don’t Live Long” from the Killers soundtrack. Angela McCluskey and her husband, composer Paul Cantelon, performed The Band’s “Whispering Pines.”

Scorsese then took the podium to deliver a heartfelt eulogy for Robertson, who had been a friend to Scorsese since the 1970s when the two first met while making The Last Waltz. “When all was said and done, it was a folie à deux,” said Scorsese of the iconic concert film. “Two individuals came together and did something that on their own they wouldn’t have done … The madness of two.”

Of their more than 50-year friendship Scorsese said, “We were friends. We were more than that. Confidantes … someone you can confide in. Friendship is private, it’s trust, sometimes it’s forgiveness, and it’s love, but sometimes silence suffices. Silence can be enough.”

Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images

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