"I have a very deep love for nature. I think it might be the correlation with the sound of the birds. And also if you think about my natural voice is the same range as the instrument...so I think I just really connected with it," said Mitchell.
For three years, Mitchell was called the rising star flutist in Downbeat Magazine. In 1997, she founded the Black Earth Ensemble.
Her performances take her across the U.S., Canada and Europe. And, she's been asked by a prolific composer the Jazz Institute of Chicago to compose a tribute to U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.
"When they asked me for a title I decided on Honoring Grace...because I think that really represents who she is?and not just that she's a graceful person, but she moves through the world with grace," said Mitchell. "She's kind of the best that Chicago has to offer."
Mitchell also teaches jazz history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"There's still always more to learn and more to do that I'm reaching toward but I really have to count so many blessings. I mean I've been able to travel internationally performing my music and worked with really great musicians...and it's just been a blessed life."
Mitchell's tribute to Obama will be performed at Spertus, 610 South Michigan, on September 1, 2009 at 6 p.m.