Jude Folkman
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April 3, 2018

The Year’s Best Artists and Releases Announced At Lincoln Center During The 16th Annual Independent Music Awards

Nik West, Reeve Carney, Esprit D’Air, Eh440, Karim Baggili, Sofía Rei, Anish Sood, Air Traffic Controller, John McEuen, Rozina Pátkai, Jake La Botz, and The Bankesters are among this year’s honorees

Established artists and rising stars from around the world packed Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium on Saturday, March 31st to celebrate the vitality of the indie music community at The 16th annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs) and Independent Music Party.

A diverse mix of new music, video and design projects from self-released and indie label artists including Nik West, Reeve Carney, Esprit D’Air, Eh440, Karim Baggili, Sofîa Rei, Anish Sood, Air Traffic Controller, John McEuen, Rozina Pátkai, Jake La Botz and The Bankesters earned top honors at this year’s IMAs.

The winning projects were selected by esteemed artist and industry judging panels which included: Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Slayer, Bakithi Kumalo, Michael W. Smith, Amy Lee (Evanescence), Sepultura, and Fiona Joy among many others; as well as press and talent buyers from the Americas, Europe and Pacific Rim. More than 54,000 online fan votes determined The IMA Vox Pop Winners in Song and Video categories.

The 4-hour ceremony featured award presentations in 94 music and visual arts categories, and performances by 10 nominated acts which included: John McEuen, Reeve Carney, Berta Moreno, Wordsmith, Taylor Grey, Luz Pinos, Jackknife Stiletto, Cary Morin and Nik West. A cypher featuring Rap/Hip-Hop nominees Talya La Lia, Dom Gotti, A.miss Omega, Marcaux and SplytSecond opened the evening’s ceremony.

Reeve Carney was among the night’s biggest winners for his debut solo album Youth Is Wasted which earned 5 wins in the Adult Contemporary Album & Song, Acoustic Song and Rock/Hard Rock Song categories; Matthew Huff was the fan favorite in Alt. Country Song, Country Song and Social Action Song categories; Compass Records recording artists The Bankesters, won both the judge and fan votes for their Bluegrass cover of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”

“The IMAs celebrate the artists who dare to create something extraordinary… without major label support” said IMA Executive Director, Martin Folkman. “From traditional to avant garde and every music genre in between, The Independent Music Awards provides a platform for a diverse range of incredible self-released and indie label talent at every stage of their careers” Folkman said.

Artists from Austria, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Spain, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia and USA were among those honored at The 16th IMAs.


Now in its 17th year, the influential Independent Music Awards honor the year’s best music projects by self-released and indie label talent. And connects them to new performance, promotion and distribution opportunities. The program receives entries from 95 countries on 6 continents. Nominated projects are winnowed from thousands of submissions, and are determined by panels of influential artists, music industry executives and fans.

Past winners and nominees include: …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Amy Lee, Band of Skulls, Ben Kweller, Bright Eyes,Camila Meza, Flying Lotus, Jackson Browne, Killer Mike, Lacuna Coil, Macy Gray, Melissa Ferrick, JD McPherson, Meghan Trainor, Passenger, Radio Radio, RuPaul, Speech, V​​​​​​​alerie June and Yemi Alade.

Submissions for The 17th annual Independent Music Awards open in Spring 2018. Details available at

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The 16th Independent Music Awards Winners

Album CategoriesWinner Winning Album
Adult ContemporaryReeve Carney Youth Is Wasted
Alt. CountryJake La Botz Sunnyside
AmericanaJohn McEuen Made In Brooklyn
BluegrassThe Bankesters Nightbird
BluesCary Morin Cradle to the Grave
Children's MusicDan Zanes and Friends Lead Belly, Baby!
CompilationVarious Artists Classic English and Scottish Ballads from Smithsonian Folkways
ConceptSofía Rei El Gavilán
Contemporary Christian/GospelDelra Harris H M A I
Contemporary ClassicalDouglas Knehans Unfinished Earth
CountryDani Strong Time to Breathe
Dance/ElectronicaDark Model Saga
DebutSai da Frente Sai da Frente
EclecticGoat's Notes Cosmic Circus
Folk/Singer-SongwriterSeth Glier Birds
Funk/Fusion/JamSr. Langosta El Experimento Caribeño
Indie/Alt. RockSoup Remedies
InstrumentalJulian Lage & Chris Eldridge Mount Royal
Jazz InstrumentalDavid Whitman Oh, Clara!
Jazz With VocalsRozina Pátkai Paraíso na Terra
LatinLuz Pinos Mariposa Azul
Live PerformancePetros Klampanis CHROMA
Metal/HardcoreEsprit D'Air Constellations
New AgeFLOW (feat. Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt & Jeff Oster) FLOW
PopTaylor Grey Space Case
R&B/SoulKatrina Marie When There Is No Color
Rap/Hip-HopWordsmith Perspective Jukebox
Re-IssueVarious Artists Indus Raag: Music Beyond Borders (Gold Edition)
Rock / Hard RockSleep Machine Sleep Machine
Spoken WordJenni Asher Freedom
TributeCarlos Cano & Hernán Milla Por la Rivera de Paquito
World BeatKarim Baggili Apollo You Sixteen
World TraditionalSangpuy Yaangad
Song CategoriesWinner Winning Song
A CappellaEh440 Never Stop Lovin' You
A CappellaMilli Janatková (Vox Pop Winner)Mothers' Magic
AcousticReeve Carney Think of You
AcousticReeve Carney (Vox Pop Winner)Think of You
Adult ContemporaryChris Ayer Heavy
Adult ContemporaryReeve Carney (Vox Pop Winner)Think of You
Alt. CountryBen Leece Trace (feat. Tori Forsyth)
Alt. CountryMatthew Huff (Vox Pop Winner)All Over You
AmericanaBig Little Lions Against the Wall
AmericanaErisa Rei (Vox Pop Winner)Morning Glory
BluegrassSad Daddy Mountainside
BluegrassRandy Steele (Vox Pop Winner)Mobile Soon
BluesAltered Five Blues Band Cookin' in Your Kitchen
BluesMindi Abair and The Boneshakers (Vox Pop Winner)Pretty Good for a Girl (feat. Joe Bonamassa)
Children's MusicMarla Lewis Major Minor
Children's MusicMarla Lewis (Vox Pop Winner)Major Minor
Contemporary Christian/GospelDrew Greenway Walk in the Light
Contemporary Christian/Gospel(the autumn) (Vox Pop Winner)Mercy|Grace
CountryDani Strong What You Need
CountryMatthew Huff (Vox Pop Winner)I Can't Love You Anymore
CoverThe Bankesters Seven Nation Army - (orig. by The White Stripes)
CoverThe Bankesters (Vox Pop Winner)Seven Nation Army - (orig. by The White Stripes)
Dance/ElectronicaAnish Sood Starry Night (feat. Zach Sorgen & Kelechi)
Dance/ElectronicaNoahStradamus & JANEX (Vox Pop Winner)Alone (SFE Edition)
EclecticLeftbank I just want to know for sure
EclecticStefan Kristinkov (Vox Pop Winner)On a Raising Value of Ice
Folk/Singer-SongwriterSeth Glier Like I Do
Folk/Singer-SongwriterChad Dohring (Vox Pop Winner)Hey Love (Demo)
Funk/Fusion/JamNik West Purple Unicorn
Funk/Fusion/JamLos Banksters (Vox Pop Winner)Boleto Ganador
HolidayDeejay Young Christmas Time Is Here
HolidayJubilant Bridge (Vox Pop Winner)A Bell A Bird A Star
Indie/Alt. RockHALF SHY Growing up to Grow Apart
Indie/Alt. RockAir Traffic Controller (Vox Pop Winner)After Party
InstrumentalGustavo Ballesteros Tocata
InstrumentalGustavo Ballesteros (Vox Pop Winner)Tocata
Jazz InstrumentalFrank Catalano, Jimmy Chamberlin and David Sanborn (tie)Shakin'
Jazz InstrumentalBrian Eisenberg Jazz Orchestra (tie)Life Changes
Jazz InstrumentalRoberto Tola (Vox Pop Winner)Funky Party (feat. Bob Mintzer & Bill Sharpe)
Jazz With VocalsQuinn Bachand's Brishen Cheyenne (Quit Your Talkin')
Jazz With VocalsArarur (Vox Pop Winner)Trevas Coração
LatinDelia Fischer Mercado (feat. Antonio Fischer-Band & Matias Correa)
LatinDelia Fischer (Vox Pop Winner)Mercado (feat. Antonio Fischer-Band & Matias Correa)
LoveCarolina Calvache La Última Vez (feat. Camila Meza)
LoveOlivia Frances (Vox Pop Winner)Moon to My Sun
Metal/HardcoreBlood of Angels Odin's Wrath
Metal/HardcoreA Sound of Thunder (Vox Pop Winner)Els Segadors (The Reapers)
New AgeLenka Lichtenberg Dobrú noc, má milá
New AgeDyan Garris (Vox Pop Winner)Mystic Sea (feat. Scott Schaefer)
PopTaylor Grey Miami (feat. Spencer Kane)
PopEzla (Vox Pop Winner)Outcasts
R&B/SoulBeth Free
R&B/SoulCelso Salim Band (Vox Pop Winner)Mama's Home Town
Rap/Hip-HopAmiss O.mega Diva Look (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Rap/Hip-HopTalya La Lia (Vox Pop Winner)-Drowning-
Rock/Hard RockReeve Carney Resurrection
Rock/Hard RockThe Relationship (Vox Pop Winner)Break Me Open
Social ActionMouths of Babes Any Other Day
Social ActionMatthew Huff (Vox Pop Winner)This Is Our Home
Spoken WordStephen Emmer Soil (feat. Ursula Rucker)
Spoken WordStephen Emmer (Vox Pop Winner)Soil (feat. Ursula Rucker)
StoryJonah Smith Ocala
StoryJonah Smith (Vox Pop Winner)Ocala
World BeatKarim Baggili Exitimuse
World BeatPrincess Tiffalene (Vox Pop Winner)Havasi Kundiziva (They Don't Know What I Got)
World TraditionalMagín Díaz Me Amarás (feat. Monsieur Periné)
World TraditionalMagín Díaz (Vox Pop Winner)Me Amarás (feat. Monsieur Periné)
EP CategoriesWinner Winning EP
Dance/ElectronicaåMBe Enemy of the People
EclecticJack of None The Tattle Tale Heart - EP
InstrumentalMaxim Cormier Maxim Cormier Plays J.S. Bach
JazzMohammed Rashid Middle Eastern Gypsy Jazz, Vol. 1
Live PerformanceThe Claudettes Pull Closer to Me: Live in the Piano Room
PopDANAE Direction
RockAir Traffic Controller Echo Papa
Roots/CountryRobinson Treacher Born
UrbanShameem Time Does Not Reverse
WorldNathalie Hazim Te Cuento
Music Producer CategoriesWinner Winning Work
Dance/ElectronicaMichael Gray & David Paul Newell Midnight Mystery Club - Reason or Rhyme
EclecticA.G. Syjuco Jack of None - Who Shot Bukowski?
InstrumentalAdam Werner & Adam Howe Adam Werner - Deep
JazzMike Field & Dominic Mancuso Mike Field - The Ghost and the Paperboy EP
PopSteve Lunt & Seth Glier Seth Glier - Birds
RockDan Kalisher Sleep Machine - Animal High
Roots/CountryJimmy Sutton Jake La Botz - Sunnyside
WorldJeremy Ledbetter Eliana Cuevas - Golpes y Flores
Design CategoriesWinner Winning Work
Album Art / PhotographyLasse Hoile (Cover Photos) & Håvard Gjelseth (Layout) Soup - Remedies
Album Packagingp38 & Katja Svejkovsky hiroshimabend - ODP 048 - Rednow Gnir
Artist Concert PhotoIsabelle Nuzzo Until Next Time: Twenty One Pilots; Little Rock Arkansas
Artist Publicity PhotoAndrew Foord Adam Davenport - My Return Address Is You
Music Promo PosterTony Halchak Aaron Fink Live at the Jazz Café
Music WebsiteLauren Chu Dan Bailey Tribe Website -
SwagDani Alvarez Caitlin Mahoney - Listening Ladies T-Shirt
Video CategoriesWinner Winning Video
Long FormJon Mullane Shine On
LyricRick Barry Where Do the Seasons Get Their Names
LyricKat McDowell (Vox Pop Winner)Language of My Heart
Short FormKing Dylan Untouchable
Short FormRun Pussy Run (Vox Pop Winner)Roaches