NAMM 2020: Joni Mitchell is to be awarded the Les Paul Innovation Award at the 35th annual NAMM Technical Excellence and Creativity (TEC) Awards. The award will be given on 18 January 2020, the third day of winter NAMM 2020, on behalf of the Les Paul Foundation. It honours individuals who set new standards for creativity in music and production.
Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of The Les Paul Foundation, said of the choice: “we are excited that Joni will be the recipient of the prestigious Les Paul Innovation Award. Like Les, she has been a trailblazer and a true renaissance woman – a songwriter, musician, producer and influencer who made her mark with very influential songs in the 60s. She has pushed the boundaries of what it means to be a female singer-songwriter over the course of her four decade career, and like Les Paul, she’s never been scared to take creative risks. We are thrilled that Joni Mitchell will join the list of extraordinary recipients that represent the spirit of the legendary Les Paul.”
Mitchell herself thanked the foundation for the award, saying that she’s “grateful for being appreciated.” Her music career began in 1962, when she started performing songs in her local music club, The Louis Reil. Throughout the mid-60s, the worked various gig circuits before signing to Reprise records to release her debut, Song to a Seagull, in 1968.
Across her career, Mitchell would produce most of her own records, and continue to experiment and reinvent her sound, foraying into Jazz and complex synthesiser arrangements. The Les Paul Innovation award will be the latest in Mitchell’s many accolades, which include nine Grammys, three Junos and induction into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among many others.
The NAMM TEC awards, recognising technical and creative innovations in recordings, films, TV and video games, will begin at 7pm on Saturday 18 January 2020, being held in the Hilton Anaheim’s Pacific Ballroom. Comedian and musician Fred Armisen will host. Tickets can be purchased here.
Be sure to stay tuned to Guitar.com for news and updates from Winter NAMM 2020, which takes place from 16-19 January next year.
Check out our Chord Clinic for tips on Joni Mitchell’s signature open-D playing style.
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