JLF Songwriting Contest

About the 2023 contest

Now in its sixth year, the Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest is open to unsigned and emerging Oklahoma songwriters in all genres. The contest winner takes home a $500 cash prize and a spot in the Gypsy Café lineup.  The contest is free to enter and open to unsigned Oklahoma songwriters. Each artist may submit ONE lyric-driven song by the March 3rd deadline. 

Three contest finalists will be selected based on lyrics, melody, originality, form and musicality by a panel of judges, including renowned songwriters and industry professionals Samantha Crain, Brad Piccolo, Deana McCloud and Roger Ray. Finalists will be asked to submit a video recording of their song (acoustic) for public voting online April 2-16. This video can be recorded on a phone; professional production is not required. The judges’ scores of overall performance will be combined with public votes to determine the winners.

The contest is free to enter with a grand prize of $500, a spot in the lineup at Bob Childers Gypsy Café.

The People’s Choice Award, decided by online voting, wins $100. 

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) and Branjae’s “Free Facts” (2022).  


2022 Winner

Song: Free Facts

2022 Winner

“Free Facts” by Branjae 

“Take it Hard”
by Jamey Hooper

“I Won’t”
by Wyatt Wilson

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