The Arhoolie Awards honor musicians, organizations, and individuals who carry on and uplift tradition-based music. Recipients are nominated by experts in the field and selected because of the extraordinary work they do to keep diverse roots and regional music thriving. The award is accompanied by a $10,000 prize.

Meet the recipients of the fifth annual Arhoolie Awards:

Celebrate the 5th Annual Arhoolie Awards at our Benefit Concert on Friday, April 14, 2023 at the Chapel in San Francisco. Enjoy a night of down-home blues, authentic Tejano conjunto music and the best in Americana. The concert features Dave Alvin, Santiago Jiménez Jr. and Jerron Paxton. Purchase tickets at


Formed in 2009, New Orleans-based Tuba Skinny stands out as one of the most exciting traditional jazz groups playing today. Mixing well-known standards with original compositions and outstanding interpretations of rhythm and blues, Tuba Skinny has crowds moving wherever they play.

Jerron “Blind Boy” PAXTON

Jerron Paxton is a master of acoustic blues, early jazz, ragtime, and old-time country music, which he plays on guitar, piano, banjo, fiddle, and harmonica. He can channel Louis Armstrong, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Franklin George, Vess Ossman, and even Ray Charles. Born in Compton and now living in Queens, NY, Jerron can be found on Jalopy Records.

Santiago Jimenez Jr

A member of the illustrious Jimenez family of accordion players, Santiago Jimenez Jr. has maintained the traditional style of Tejano conjunto for over 60 years. Faithful to the music of his father Don Santiago Jimenez, Santiago Jr. has been awarded a National Heritage Fellowship and a National Medal of Arts. A traditional music leader and teacher, Santiago Jimenez Jr. first recorded for Arhoolie in 1982 and has remained a friend ever since.

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.