Chaka Khan honours Joni Mitchell at Jazz Foundation gala

Chaka Khan honours Joni Mitchell at Jazz Foundation gala

Chaka Khan helped to celebrate the legacy of fellow music icon Joni Mitchell on Sunday (10Nov19) by performing in her honour at the Jazz Foundation of America benefit.

The I'm Every Woman hitmaker is a close friend of Mitchell's, and she hit the stage at the Vibrato Grill Jazz venue in Bel Air, California over the weekend for the special set, covering the star's Man from Mars and Hissing of Summer Lawns.

Actress/singer Rita Wilson also shared her song tribute, titled Joni, while musician Wendy Melvoin, who used to perform in Prince's backing band The Revolution, saluted Mitchell with a reading of the lyrics to her 1976 release A Strange Boy.

The guitarist admitted she had been wracked with nerves over the appearance: "You're the single most influential person to my character and to my ability to play this instrument," she told Mitchell at the event, hosted by Quincy Jones.

"Everybody's asked me, 'How are you feeling about doing this?' And, you know, in the spirit of complete and full disclosure, I could pass out right now."

Gala organisers also honoured saxophone legend Wayne Shorter at the benefit gig, where his wife, Carolina, expressed her deep gratitude for charity officials, who provide financial aid and support to struggling musicians like the 86 year old following a string of recent health troubles.

"Through the years, Wayne and I have been a part of many fundraisers and supported causes," she began. "(But) we have been really challenged the past two years, with huge health and financial challenges.

"So our friend Herbie Hancock suggested we reach out to the Jazz Foundation of America. And I wanted everybody to know that yes, we were supported financially almost immediately. It was amazing. But the Jazz Foundation, they did something that money can't buy... The difference between the Jazz Foundation and other similar foundations, it's like if you're walking in the desert parched, and someone will give you water - that's already fantastic. But with them, you feel like you've found a tent with pillows and shade and air conditioning and the most amazing people in the world."

Promising to repay the favour one day, Carolina Shorter added, "So, I know that Wayne and I are going to turn this around, and pretty soon we're gonna be writing the biggest cheque to support the Foundation, because the work they do is unbelievable."


© Cover Media