A who's-who of international singers, songwriters and performers are set to honour Joni Mitchell Sunday evening in Toronto at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame gala event.
World famous performers such as James Taylor, jazz pianist and innovator Herbie Hancock and funk legend Chaka Khan are among the many artists who will be on hand to pay tribute to Mitchell and five of her songs.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame will recognize Mitchell as one of Canada's most successful songwriters whose career has spanned 40 years and crossed over into folk, rock, pop and jazz on various occasions.
Hancock will present the 2007 CSHF Modern Era Inductee to Mitchell.
Khan, accompanied on piano by Hancock, will perform Mitchell's song "Help Me." Taylor will perform the song "Woodstock," while classical soprano Measha Brueggergosman will perform her rendition of the hit song "Both Sides Now."
The gala event is set to take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
During a cocktail party in Mitchell's honour Saturday evening, Brueggergosman said Mitchell taught her "to value poetry in music," adding that she is a "multifaceted artist" who deserves to be honoured for her unique talents.
"She taught me the importance of text, that words above all else are important. She is such an amazing poet in addition to writing unbelievable songs," Brueggergosman said.
Colin MacDonald, lead singer and guitarist for Canadian rock band The Trews, described Mitchell as "brilliant, very ahead of her time and progessive' and said her creativity puts her in a class of her very own.
"(She's) completely original, completely heartfelt and that's almost an impossible bridge to get over as a songwriter,' MacDonald said.
"It's one thing to push the form ahead, it's another thing to keep it so that people could still really relate to it -- and she seems to be able to do that perfectly."
Songwriter Stephan Moccio, who has penned songs for Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban, said Canada is lucky to have an artist like Mitchell.
"She's nurturing, brave and very giving to have given back to us her sort of song and her honest body of work."
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