The Memphis Chapter serves Recording Academy® members and music communities across the region stretching from Memphis and the Mid-South throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. This wide-ranging area encompasses the deepest roots of American music and the birthplaces of blues, jazz, ragtime, R&B, Cajun, zydeco, and rock & roll. The Chapter was founded in 1973, when the Memphis Sound was one of popular music’s top brands thanks to local greats such as Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Ann Peebles, and Elvis Presley. Also at that time, Louisiana was experiencing a major cultural revival spearheaded by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and Jackson, Mississippi was a thriving recording scene for rhythm & blues and Southern gospel music.
In this part of the country, music isn’t simply art or industry — it’s a way of life, and has been for generations. There’s a vibrant history here that draws musicians and fans from across the globe. And while the Memphis Chapter pays tribute to that rich heritage, our focus is on the future and creating programs and educational opportunities that keep pace with today's ever-changing entertainment environment.
The music that inspired the founding of the Chapter continues to inspire new generations. Thankfully, many of those legends are still with us and still making their mark including recent GRAMMY winners Al Green, Booker T. Jones, Buckwheat Zydeco, Irma Thomas and Dr. John. Our region continues to spur the next generation of top music makers, including recent GRAMMY nominees North Mississippi Allstars, Trombone Shorty, Sheri Jones-Moffett, Cedric Watson, MGMT, Mute Math, Trin-I-Tee 5:7 and Lil Wayne.
For the region’s next class of music professionals, the Chapter offers student memberships through The Academy's GRAMMY University Network and produces workshops and educational programs such as the GRAMMY GPS: A Road Map For Today’s Music Biz conference, The Business of the Song, and GRAMMY Career Day. In recognition of its regional stature, the Academy has a full-time staff member based in New Orleans helping to bring even more Academy events and programs to the Gulf Coast region while the membership continues to grow there.
Memphis Chapter members have been heavily involved in television and film projects such as Footloose, Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan and MTV’s“$5 Cover” as well as HBO’s “Treme” and “True Blood” television series. In the new media arena, our members can be heard on web broadcasts such as “The Ardent Sessions,” “Liveset,” “Sun Studio Sessions” and “Blade Studios After Hours.”
The Chapter’s outreach goes beyond the professional music community to government and business entities. One example is the Memphis Chapter’s major role in the annual Mississippi GRAMMY Legacy Celebration event—
which raises funds and awareness of Mississippi’s Blues and Country Music Trails—and Louisiana’s annual Only In Louisiana luncheon during GRAMMY Week, which celebrates the state’s music and highlights its entertainment industry tax incentives. And when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005, the Memphis Chapter took action in helping to locate replacement instruments for displaced Gulf Coast musicians and helping to raise funds for the MusiCares Hurricane Relief 2005. The Chapter also partnered with the GRAMMY Foundation to present the all-star tribute event, New Orleans Rising, in Los Angeles and New Orleans.
“It’s all about making connections,” says Chapter Senior Executive Director Jon Hornyak. “That’s the key to everything we do, whether honoring our region’s deeply shared musical roots, creating new networking opportunities for today’s musicians and recording professionals or introducing talented high school and college students to those professionals and living legends in our workshops and seminars. We’re still the birthplace of American music, and new music is being born all the time. It’s our job to make sure the Memphis Chapter inspires, teaches and creates opportunities for our region’s future generation of music greats.”
For information about Academy Membership, please visit - https://www.grammypro.com/join
Celebrating music through the GRAMMY Awards for more than 50 years, The Recording Academy continues its rich legacy and ongoing growth as the premier outlet for honoring achievements in the recording arts and supporting the music community. The GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position. As we move ahead in an ever-changing music environment, The Recording Academy looks forward to the new opportunities of a growing organization. Over the last decade particularly, The Academy has expanded its goals from the important work of recognizing the best in music through the GRAMMY Awards to establishing itself as the preeminent arts advocacy and outreach organization in the country. The Academy's mission statement is simple, but represents the heart and soul of the organization's efforts: to positively impact the lives of musicians, industry members and our society at large. The Academy can be proud of its accomplishments on behalf of its constituency. Through the efforts of the volunteer leadership and the capable professional staff, the music community, music lovers and inheritors of America's great cultural legacy are reaping the benefit.
Jon Hornyak - Senior Executive Director
Reid Wick - Senior Membership & Project Manager
Grace Hamm - GRAMMY U Representative (Memphis)
Alexis Rey - GRAMMY U Representative (New Orleans)
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