Born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., the "Home of the Blues," Peter Hyrka grew up on a steady diet of rock, blues, and soul music. Having taken instruction on the accordion, clarinet, guitar and piano, he then discovered the beauty of the violin, and has been fascinated with it ever since.
It was while in high school that Peter was led to the delightful sounds of Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, Jean Luc Ponty, and other jazz string players. He spent several years performing in country, rock, bluegrass, and reggae bands, which led to work as a session violinist. In 1984 he organized the “Victims of Circumstance,” which featured the vibraphone, giving it a sound as much like a meeting between Stephane Grappelli and Lionel Hampton, as it did of the “Quintet of the Hot Club of France.”
In 1989, Peter was signed to Columbia Records with his rock group, “Human Radio.” In 1995, he created “The Gypsy Hombres”, a new acoustic trio featuring violin, guitar, and string bass, which is now his full time vocation. He is the recipient of numerous Premier Player Awards given by the Memphis chapter of the National Association of the Recording Arts and Sciences (N.A.R.A.S.), and was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. And, as a fan and student of music of the world, adamantly believes in the observation of the great Duke Ellington: that there are only two kinds of music - good and bad.
He has performed and recorded with Steve Forbert and Todd Snider, Rusty Young of “Poco”, John Cowan, and appears on the platinum-selling Squint Records' recording group, “Sixpence, None the Richer.” In 1998 Peter reunited with Human Radio to record with Japanese pop-vocalist Miyako Shinohara, which led to a tour of Japan. In April, 2000, he arranged the strings behind Willie Nelson and Duane Eddy at the Ryman Auditorium, as part of Chet Atkin's Musician Days.
Locally, apart from the Hombres, Peter can be observed playing with the up-and-coming, desert-tinged Kim's Fable.
Mr. Hyrka counts travel among his hobbies, and currently resides in Nashville. When not being a gypsy, he works as a composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, and producer.