Joni Mitchell and Don Wilson of The Ventures Honored by Fellow Famous Rockers at NAMM Show

Don Wilson of The Ventures and Joni Mitchell accept awards at NAMM - Photos by Staci Wilson
Don Wilson of The Ventures and Joni Mitchell accept awards at NAMM - Photos by Staci Wilson


Joni Mitchell was presented with the The Les Paul Foundation’s Innovation Award at the TEC Awards during the NAMM Show 2020. Don Wilson, founder of The Ventures received the Music For Life Award.

Joni Mitchell and Don Wilson - Photos by Staci Wilson
Joni Mitchell and Don Wilson – Photos by Staci Wilson

“I am truly honored,” said Mitchell who was given a tribute that included performances by Weyes Blood, who gave her rendition of “Woodstock,” Suzanne Santo on “The River,” Kevin Ross on “A Case of You” and Venice with “Free Man in Paris.”

Michael Braunstein, the foundation’s executive director introduced the award and called Mitchell “a true renaissance woman.”

Mitchell was presented the award by pianist-composer Herbie Hancock, who said “It’s hard to imagine a world without this courageous woman’s brave songs and records.”

Joni Mitchell and Don Wilson - Photos by Staci Wilson 5
Joni Mitchell and Don Wilson – Photos by Staci Wilson 5

The Les Paul Innovation Award has been presented annually to remarkably-distinguished individuals from the music industry, such as Jackson Browne, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, and the 2019 recipient, Peter Frampton.

The TEC Awards ceremony started with a rousing tribute to Don Wilson of The Ventures, including tunes that warmed up the crowd.

A new documentary about The Ventures called “The Ventures: Stars on Guitars”  will be screened at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival (Feb. 12-22).

Read our Review of “The Ventures: Stars on Guitars” here.

Skunk Baxter presented Wilson with the Music for Life Award. Baxter said: “You gave us a great gift that keeps on giving.”

Billy Bob Thornton also contributed a video message describing his in-studio time with Wilson, calling it “one of the greatest honors of my life.”

The 2020 TEC Award recipients:


Amplification Hardware/Studio & Sound Reinforcement
Auratone – A2-30
Audio Apps & Hardware/Peripherals for Smartphones & Tablets
Genelec – Aural ID
Audio Education Technology
iZotope – Pro Audio Essentials
Computer Audio Hardware
Universal Audio – Apollo x16
DJ Production Technology (Hardware/Software)
KORG – minilogue xd
Headphone/Earpiece Technology
Neumann – NDH 20
Large Format Console Technology
API – 2448 Console
Microphone Preamplifiers
Rupert Neve Designs – 5211 Dual Mic Pre
Microphones – Recording
Townsend Labs – Sphere L22 v1.3
Microphones – Sound Reinforcement
Aston Microphones – Stealth
Musical Instrument Amplification & Effects
Line 6 – HX Stomp
Musical Instrument Hardware
Moog Music – Moog One
Musical Instrument Software
Spectrasonics – Omnisphere 2.5
Production Essentials
Cable Wrangler
Signal Processing Hardware
Solid State Logic – Fusion
Signal Processing Hardware (500 Series Modules)
API – 550A 50thAnniversary Edition
Signal Processing Software (Dynamics/EQ /Utilities)
FabFilter – Pro-Q 3
Signal Processing Software (Effects)
Universal Audio – Capitol Chambers
Small Format Console Technology
Allen & Heath – SQ Digital Mixer Series V1.3
Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers
JBL Professional – VTX A8 Line Array
Studio Monitors
Genelec – S360A SAM
Wireless Technology
Shure – Axient Digital ADX Transmitter
Workstation Technology/Recording Devices
Avid – Pro Tools 2019


Film Sound Production
Bohemian Rhapsody (20thCentury Fox, Regency Enterprises, GK Films)
Interactive Entertainment Sound Production
Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games | Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Record Production/Album
A Star is Born (Soundtrack), Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper (Interscope Records)
Record Production/Single or Track
“Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish (Darkroom / Interscope Records)
Remote Production/Recording or Broadcasting
61stAnnual Grammy Awards (CBS)
Studio Design Project
Old Mill Road Recording (Francis Manzella Design Ltd.)
Television Sound Production
Game of Thrones (HBO /Warner Bros. Television)
Tour Event Sound Production
Freshen Up, Paul McCartney