Jon Hornyak to Receive Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts

August 18, 2016 - Jon Hornyak, executive director of the Memphis Chapter of The Recording Academy, will receive the College of Communication and Fine Arts 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts. He will be honored Sept. 16 at 11:30 p.m. at Charlie Vergos Rendezvous, 52 S. Second St. Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a table, and may be purchased online memphis.edu/ccfa.

Although not a native Memphian, Hornyak was like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips and thousands of other young dreamers who moved here as quickly as they could. Since arriving for his freshman year at then-Memphis State University, he has been a tireless musical advocate. He joined The Recording Academy in April 1994 as the first full-time executive director of the Memphis chapter and continues to serve in that position, working to provide educational programs for the entire music community and expanding the region served by the chapter to Louisiana and St. Louis.

One of his proudest accomplishments is directing the documentation of the region's rich music heritage in more than 50 comprehensive filmed interviews with musical icons for the GRAMMY Living Histories program, some of which were featured in the award-winning 2002 documentary Sounds of Memphis, for which he served as executive producer. In 2013, he organized "And The GRAMMY Goes To Memphis," a year-long exhibit at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Memphis chapter.

"Jon has been successfully involved for more than three decades in all aspects of the music industry and has been vital to Memphis and Mid-South music through his distinguished leadership of the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences," said Dr. Richard Ranta, CCFA dean emeritus.

His background includes working as a touring and studio musician; owning a sound and lighting company; and serving as producer, engineer, studio owner and artist manager. His lifelong love of music still brings him to the stage as a founder of the nationally touring Memphis Ukulele Band. Since 1979, The Distinguished Achievement in the Creative and Performing Arts Award has been awarded to outstanding Mid-South artists to celebrate the memory of Elvis Presley. For more information, call the CCFA dean's office at 901.678.2350.

Kimberly Rogers