According to PBS, the all-star tribute will celebrate "the cultural resonance of art and literatures in unique American musical forms."
The concert will also feature Buddy Guy, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Keb' Mo', Smokey Robinson, Trombone Shorty, Esperanza Spalding, James Taylor and Usher. Carol Burnett will offer special readings and remarks.
McDonald and Mitchell, who co-starred in Ragtime, will reunite next spring in the new Broadway production of Shuffle Along.
The event will also mark the first hip-hop performance in the "In Performance at the White House" broadcast series. The song selections for the evening will draw from American-originated musical genres, including hip-hop, blues and the American Songbook.
The hour-long program will air Jan. 8, 2016, at 9 PM ET on PBS stations nationwide.