The Arhoolie Awards are a central piece of our commitment to celebrating roots music. This annual award, now in its fourth year, honors musicians, organizations, and individuals who carry on and uplift roots and regional music styles.

The Arhoolie Awards are neither applied for nor sought. Nominations are made by board members, friends, and experts in our field. Winners are chosen by the Arhoolie Foundation board of directors.

Recipients receive $10,000 with no obligations: this award is simply meant to encourage, support, and shine a light on extraordinary people and organizations, and to help them continue doing what they do.

Sort by: A-Z Most recent

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.