New Digitizing Station Up And Running

Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, we have established a second digitizing station and hired an additional technician (Leon Garcia, pictured) to preserve the more than 700 rare regional cassette tapes contained in the Frontera Collection. Produced in small numbers by local independent labels with limited distribution, the majority of these recordings were never issued on any other format, and therefore offer increasingly scarce documentation of regional musical styles and content. We are grateful to have Leon with us, and encouraged by the NEA’s generous continued support for our broadening efforts to preserve what we believe to be important and exciting cultural material.

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.