Judges Named For Sixth Annual Independent Music Awards

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The first group of judges for the Sixth Annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs) has been confirmed: Ozzy Osbourne, Buddy Guy, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Wynonna, Cyndi Lauper, McCoy Tyner, Suzanne Vega, DJs Paul Oakenfold and Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim, Afrika Bambaataa, Howard Tate, Patty Loveless, David Grisman, Bebel Gilberto, Beenie Man, Tim Pagnotta of Sugarcult and Rob Wasserman.

The IMAs is an international program that helps Independent artists and releases achieve wider recognition among industry and fans.

Joining these judges will also be industry vets such as Michael McDonald (ATO Records president), Louis Meyers (Folk Alliance executive director), Abby White (Performing Songwriter Music Editor), Brett Kimberlin (Justice Through Music director), Claire Armbruster (Merlefest artistic director), Barry Bergman (president of Music Management Forum U.S.), Don Rose (A2IM president) and Melinda Newman (Billboard Magazine West Coast bureau chief).

In addition to an already broad spectrum of categories spanning heavy metal to gospel, a new categoryis being introduced. “Sing Out For Social Action” was created explicitly to offer artists from every end of the political spectrum an opportunity to promote social change.

“Artists have always been at the forefront of social change and music in particular is an effective rallying force,” said Martin Folkman, IMA program director. "By adding Sing Out For Social Action to the IMA program, we hope that we can provide a larger audience for artists with something to say."

A unique feature of the IMAs is the program’s focus on yearlong marketing, promotion and distribution for award recipients in lieu of the typical prize packages. Co-sponsored by Borders Books & Music, radio promotions company, the Planetary Group and terrestrial and internet tracking service, MediaGuide, IMA award winners are promoted to 9 million+ music fans, programmers, talent buyers, journalists and other industry decision makers via direct marketing, promotional campaigns, print, broadcast and online initiatives.

Deadline for submissions is midnight August 25. Details, additional judges and entry forms are available at www.IndependentMusicAwards.com and in the 2006 edition of The Musician’s Atlas. Winners and finalists will be featured in the 2007 edition of The Atlas, on sale in November. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

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