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LIC Arabic music group honored by Independent Music Awards

NEW YORK — The Long Island City-based Arabic music and dance ensemble Zikrayat are among the diverse group of artists chosen as the Independent Music Awards Vox Populi winners.

Zikrayat, headed by Long Island City couple Sami Shumays, a musician, and Robin "Dameshe" Shumays, a dancer, were given the Best Live Performance award for their CD "Live at Lotus." The group was profiled by the TimesLedger in June 2007.

Now in its seventh annual edition, this year's program is the first time the IMAs have opened the voting process to include fans and industry voters that were not on the official judging panel, which this year included Snoop Dogg, Mavis Staples, Susan Tedeschi, Ray Davies, Suzanne Vega, Charlie Musselwhite, Tim Pagnotta, Judy Collins, Mickdeth and Chuck Comeau, among others.

Through press releases and outreaches to fans and industry, more than 30,000 votes were cast at the online Vox Populi Jukebox on the Independent Music Awards site.

Designed to provide more opportunities for indie artists to get heard and win new fans, these IMA Vox Populi Winners are promoted to industry and music fans via print, online and other promotional initiatives.

The IMAs are a program that promotes independent artists, labels and releases to more than 15 million music fans and industry insiders. This year the IMAs honored winners in 44 music categories and 6 design categories. More information and a complete list of Independent Music Award winners can be found at

For more on Zikrayat, visit

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