Tejano music legend Little Joe Hernandez will be recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts on Sept. 29.
Hernandez, whose real name is Jose Maria DeLeon Hernández, will be recognized as a 2023 National Heritage Fellow, the nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The National Endowment for the Arts has presented lifetime achievement honors in recognition of the diverse cultural traditions that comprise the nation for more than 40 years.
Each fellowship includes a $25,000 award.
"The 2023 National Heritage Fellows exemplify what it means to live an artful life," said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D., on the NEA Website. "Their rich and diverse art forms connect us to the past, strengthen our communities today, and give hope to future generations in ways that only the arts can. Our nation is strengthened through their meaningful practices, expressions, and preservation of traditional artistry."
A ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Library of Congress' Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington D.C. The event is open to the public and will be streamed live at arts.gov.
Hernández has helped pioneer Tejano music, becoming one of the most prominent figures today with more than 70 albums and five Grammy Awards, with his band, Little Joe y La Familia.
Known as the King of the Brown Sound, Little Joe has been a trailblazer in the Tex-Mex music scene for over 60 years.
María Cortés González may be reached at 915-546-6150, firstname.lastname@example.org and @EPTMaria on Twitter.
2023 NEA National Heritage Fellows
R.L. Boyce, Hill Country Blues Musician from Como, Mississippi
Ed Eugene Carriere, Suqyamish Basketmaker from Indianola, Washington.
Michael A. Cummings, African American Quilter from New York, New York.
Jose DeLeon "Little Joe" Hernandez, Tejano Music performer from Temple, Texas.
Roen Hufford, Kapa Maker from Waimea, Hawaiʻi.
Elizabeth James-Perry, Wampum and fiber artist from Dartmouth, Mass.
Luis Tapa, sculptor, Hispano Woodcarving tradition from Santa Fe.
Wu Man, pipa player from Carlsbad, Calif.
Nick Spitzer, folklore presenter, educator and radio producer from New Orleans.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Little Joe Hernandez to be honored by National Endowment for the Arts