The SXSW Grulke Prize award, now in its tenth year, was developed in honor of our friend and colleague Creative Director Brent Grulke, who passed away on August 13, 2012.

Brent’s love of music and the spirit of the festival is reflected in the three prize categories: Developing US Act, Developing Non-US Act, and Career Act.

The Developing Act Prizes are for artists who are breaking new ground with their creativity and show the most promise in achieving their career goals. The Career Act Prize is for an established artist who appeared at SXSW to reinvent themselves or launch a new project.

Past winners include Balming Tiger, Leon Bridges, Haim, Chvrches, Courtney Barnett, Jade Bird, Anderson .Paak, Jain, Dolly Parton, Iggy Pop, Damon Albarn, Spoon, The Chills, and The Flaming Lips.

2024 Grulke Prize Winners

Developing US Act – Estevie

Sarah Silva, aka Estevie, a proud first-generation Mexican American, spearheads the revival of old Latin sounds in pop. She fuses traditional Latin styles with modern pop, creating an addictive and uniquely evocative sound. Influenced by cumbia sonidera, Estevie artfully blends pop with cartoonish rhythmic layers, Norteno, and Reggaeton notes, creating a unique sound that resonates with both Latin and broader audiences.

Developing Non-US Act – TENGGER

TENGGER – SXSW 2024 – Photo by Diego Donamaria

This traveling musical family made up of Pan-Asian couple Itta (from South Korea) and Marqido (from Japan), create their brand of Krautrock-inspired psychedelic New-Age drone magic through the use of voice, harmonium, toy instruments, synths and electronics. The duo originally performed under the moniker “10”, recently re-naming themselves TENGGER (meaning ‘unlimited expanse of sky’ in Mongolian) to mark a new sonic approach and the inclusion of their (now 11-year old) son Raai into the group.

Career Act – Zapp

Zapp – SXSW 2024 – Photo by Jason Bollenbacher

Since Zapp’s beginnings, his heartbeat has been a joyful family affair, unleashing the vibrant imagination of the three Troutman Brothers – Larry, Roger and Lester. Vibrating with moog bass, electrifying guitar riffs and fresh, clever lyrics, the tight-knit group’s songs demonstrate a wicked sense of humor and an unmatched ability to tell colorful stories. Now led by bandleader Lester Troutman Sr., the band carries on the legacy of a tight-knit group of expert players alongside funk and soul pioneers.

Jurors for the Grulke Prize include music critics, industry professionals, and SXSW staff, many of whom knew and worked with Brent over the years.

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Photo credits: Estevie photo by Errich Peterson, TENGGER photo by Diego Donamaria, Zapp photo by Jason Bollenbacher





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