A cast of 18 Grammy-winning or -nominated performers has been announced for MusiCares’ person of the year salute to Joni Mitchell taking place on April 1 in Las Vegas, with Brandi Carlile and Jon Batiste leading the way as the night’s artistic directors as well as being among the featured musicians.
Also appearing on the list of performers covering Mitchell’s material at the gala dinner: Sara Bareilles, Beck, Black Pumas, Leon Bridges, Lauren Daigle, Mickey Guyton, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Angélique Kidjo, Cyndi Lauper, Pentatonix, Billy Porter, Allison Russell, Stephen Stills and St. Vincent. Graham Nash will also be part of the evening, via a remote performance.
Eight of those performers had been announced when the MusiCares dinner was first slated for L.A. in late January and have made the move to Las Vegas in April. Ten are new additions, as of today’s announcement — Bareilles, Beck, Daigle, Khan, Kidjo, Lauper, Porter, Russell, Stills and St. Vincent.
(Two artists who’d been booked for the show when it was to take place in January, James Taylor and Maggie Rogers, no longer appear on the lineup, having had to bow out because of conflicts with the rescheduled date.)
As previously announced, the 31st annual MusiCares gala will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Conference Center instead of its usual L.A. Convention Center locale, two nights before the Grammys. The awards show was bumped from its January 31 date and Crypto.com Arena location to April in Vegas due to the pandemic spike at the beginning of the year. Some other attendant annual events, like Clive Davis’ Grammy eve gala, have been called off due to the move to Nevada, but the show is going on, on the road, for MusiCares.
While Batiste and Carlile are serving as the first artistic co-directors that the Recording Academy has selected in MusiCares dinner history, producer Mike Elizondo is serving as the night’s musical director. The live event broadcast company Lewis & Clark is producing.
Last year’s MusiCares event was a virtual one, with no designated honoree. Previous persons of the year at the galas have included Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac and Carole King. Often, but not in every instance, performance highlights are later edited and released for home video.
“We’re excited to honor Joni together, in-person, as a music community and can’t wait to bring this great event to Las Vegas,” said Laura Segura, MusiCares’ executive director, in a statement. “We will be celebrating with a purpose, toasting one of music’s greatest songwriters and musicians, while raising vital funds to address the critical health and social service needs of the music community.”
Tickets for the benefit are available for purchase here. Individual tickets begin at $2,500 and tables of 12 are $25,000 and up. A cocktail reception, silent auction with celebrity items and banquet dinner precede the crowning tribute concert. Proceeds benefit MusiCares’ mission to support members of the music community whose health and welfare are in crisis. The org was founded by the Recording Academy in 1989 as its chief charitable wing.