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Steve Vai to Receive Les Paul Award at 27th Annual TEC Awards

Photo: Larry DiMarzio; image manipulation: Michael Mesker

Guitar virtuoso, composer and producer Steve Vai (pictured) will be presented with the prestigious Les Paul Award at the 27th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, to be held Friday, January 20, in the Pacific Ballroom of the Hilton Anaheim during the 2012 NAMM Show. Co-presented by the TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio and NAMM, the TEC Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in professional audio production and product design.

The Les Paul Award was established in 1991 to honor musical artists who have had distinguished careers as innovators in the creative application of audio technology. Past recipients include Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Brian Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Lindsey Buckingham, Herbie Hancock, Al Kooper, Steve Miller, and Robbie Robertson.

A student of Joe Satriani at age 12, Steve Vai began his professional music career working with Frank Zappa, with whom he toured and recorded before launching his solo career. Vai released his groundbreaking album Passion and Warfare in 1990, and since then his musicianship has awed rock fans and concertgoers worldwide. Vai has sold more than 15 million records and earned multiple Grammy Awards.

Vai has recorded and toured with Public Image Ltd., Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, and Whitesnake, and has worked with Joe Satriani, Joe Jackson, Janice Ian, Steve Lukather, Alice Cooper, Gerry Rafferty, The Yardbirds, and Mary J. Blige. He has composed for and/or performed on original soundtracks for films such as Crossroads, Encino Man, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, PCU, and Crazy, and videogames including Halo 2 and Guitar Hero 3. His latest live album and DVD is Where the Wild Things Are.

Steve Vai has received honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and Musician’s Institute, and is also involved with many worthwhile organizations.

He founded the record label Favored Nations for musicians who, in Vai’s words, “have attained the highest performance level on their chosen instruments.” He has also served as a Trustee for the Recording Academy, is on the board of Hollywood Arts, and works closely with his own Make a Noise Foundation, raising money for music education.

For complete information about the TEC Awards and the TEC Foundation, go to