August 13, 2007 (Walnut Creek, CA) — Musician, producer and composer Al Kooper will receive the prestigious Les Paul Award, presented by the Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio. Sponsored by Gibson Guitar, the presentation will take place at the 23rd Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards, to be held on October 6, 2007, at the New York Marriott Marquis.
Named for the legendary musician and inventor, the Les Paul Award was established in 1991 to honor the lifetime achievements of those whose work has exemplified the creative use of recording technology. Al Kooper joins illustrious former honorees Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson and other innovative artists and producers.
The 2007 recipient is being hailed as a musical innovator for over 40 years in blues, rock, jazz and pop. According to Hillel Resner, president of the Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio, “Al Kooper has been a trailblazer in recording techniques. His work is always fresh and inventive and especially deserving of this year’s Les Paul Award.“
”Gibson Guitar is honored to present this year’s Les Paul award to Al Kooper, a musician who epitomizes the spirit of rock “n” roll,“ said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. ”We celebrate his role in modern music and applaud him on his many talents which have entertained millions of fans for years."
Often referred to as the “Zelig” or “Forrest Gump” of Rock, Al Kooper has managed to turn up — and play a pivotal role— in some of rock’s most historical moments. Kooper, who recently released a critically acclaimed solo album, “Black Coffee,” shows no sign of slowing down after 49 years in the business. Well known for founding Blood, Sweat and Tears in the mid-sixties, Kooper’s work as a producer and musician has made a lasting impact on the soundtrack of some of rock’s greatest hits.
As a producer he is best known for discovering Lynyrd Skynyrd and producing their first three albums. He went on to play sessions with Jimi Hendrix, The Who and George Harrison, and teamed with guitarists Michael Bloomfield and Stephen Stills to record the top ten album “Super Session.” He has produced albums for clients including The Tubes, Nils Lofgren, Ray Charles, B.B. King, The Staple Singers, Bob Dylan, Joe Ely, Green on Red and many others.
Author of Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards, Kooper also scored Hal Ashby’s first film “The Landlord,” John Waters’s film “Cry Baby,” Michael Mann’s TV series “Crime Story” and Peter Riegert’s recent directorial debut “King of the Corner.”
Gibson Guitar Corporation has sponsored the Les Paul Award since 1999, and presents the honoree with a Gibson custom Les Paul guitar. The awards ceremony will feature a video tribute, and presentation of the award by Les Paul and a celebrity presenter, followed by presentation of the guitar by Gibson Chairman and CEO Henry Juskiewicz.
The TEC Awards, sponsored by Mix magazine— as well as Intel, Gibson Guitar, Dolby Laboratories, Harman Pro Group and numerous leading professional audio companies—is the world’s most prominent forum honoring outstanding achievement in professional audio production and product design. Monies raised by the TEC Awards support programs that educate audio professionals and the general public about hearing health, and also endow scholarship funds for students of the audio arts and sciences at major colleges and universities.
The Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio is a 501 (c) (3) charity headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. The TEC Awards is sponsored by Mix, the pro audio industry’s leading international monthly, published by Penton Media.