Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest

Out of 84 song entries, these were the judges top picks. See Eric Hunker perform his winning song, “When it all Ends,” at Bob Childers’ Gypsy Cafe in Stillwater on May 5 at 4:15pm. You can also see Johnny Murrell perform his song, “Silhouettes of Stories” at the Mayfest Red Dirt Relief Fund stage at Hunt Club in Tulsa May 10th at 5pm. 

Grand Prize: Eric Hunker “When it all Ends” 

Eric Hunker is a Tulsa, OK-based singer-songwriter. His first album All These Little Loves debuted at #9 on iTunes Singer-Songwriter Top 20. He wrote and toured as half of the indie-folk duo Eric & Happie for six years, releasing the album It’s Yours which debuted at #11 on the same list. He has toured the country and played SXSW, Sundance Film Festival and at the United Nations in NYC. Eric released his second solo album Beautiful Endings in late 2023 and is currently on a national tour in support of it. 

People’s Choice: Chandler Williams “Mosaic (All my Memories)”

Chandler Williams is a songwriter from Ada, Oklahoma. Falling in love with music at a young age, she began taking piano lessons at 6 years old and wrote her first song at the age of 9. Her debut album, Depth Perception, was released in 2014. After a stint in Denver, a trip to Nashville in 2019 reignited her dream of one day becoming a professional songwriter. Whether writing pop, country, or CCM, she blends meaningful lyrics with memorable melodies. Chandler is a member of the OKC chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). Last year, Chandler received an honorable mention in the American Songwriter September-October 2023 Lyric Contest. You can follow her on social media @soundofchandler. 

Johnny Murrell “Silhouettes of Stories” 

Johnny Murrell is a multi-talented musician, songwriter, actor, podcaster, and educator dedicated to making Tulsa a better place. Learn more about why ASLUT calls him a “Musical Virtuoso.”h

About the 2024 contest

Now in its seventh year, the Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest was open to unsigned and emerging Oklahoma songwriters in all genres. The contest winner takes home a $1,000 cash prize and a spot in the Gypsy Café lineup.  The People’s Choice Award, decided by online voting, wins a $250 cash prize. 

Three contest finalists will chosen based on lyrics, melody, originality, form and musicality by a panel of judges including renowned songwriters and industry professionals Chris Buhalis, Tim McFadden, Brad Piccolo, Deana McCloud and Roger Ray.  

The Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest highlights the spirit of mentorship and musical discovery that have become hallmarks of the Gypsy Café festival. Previous winners of the contest include Ken Pomeroy’s “Sidewalk Song” (2018), Dallas Parker aka Faux Draco’s “Abilities” (2019), Joe Baxter’s “Romeo’s Girl” (2020), Ahna Jennings’ “Hope & Gasoline” (2021),  Branjae’s “Free Facts” (2022) and Brent Giddens’ “Shades of Texas (2023). 


2023 Winner

Brent Giddens
Song: Shades of Texas

Check out the 2023 Contest Finalists below!

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