Festival of Jewish Arts and Music

Sun 8th September, 2019
Melbourne Recital Centre
31 Sturt Street, Southbank
Price: $70-$220
One day, four stages, 35 performances and over 135 local and international artists – including a producer on the TV series Transparent.

Melbourne Recital Centre will be taken over by the Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (previously Shir Madness) – a celebration of contemporary Jewish culture – on Sunday September 8. There’ll be plenty of live music, talks and a storytelling slam.

The festival has a strong music focus. International headliners include Israeli beat maker and producer Noga Erez, and American singer-songwriter Chris Cohen, formerly of the band Deerhood. And for the festival’s headline performance, Transformer – A Tribute to Lou Reed, indie-pop artist Gabriella Cohen and Kate Dillon (Full Flower Moon Band) will direct a performance of Reed’s iconic album Transformer by artists such as Chris Cohen, Alex Gow (Oh Mercy), Emily Lubitz (Tinpan Orange), Bella Venuti (IV League), Spike Fuck and ARIA-winning post-punk legend Deborah Conway.

Another performance, Song of Songs, will pay tribute to legendary Jewish songwriters and composers such as Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and Carole King. On the line-up are Paul Kelly, Vika Bull, Kate Ceberano, Clare Bowditch, Harry James Angus, Lisa Mitchell and more.

The day will start with Why We Stand, a performance by poet and musician Neil Morris that honours Yorta Yorta man William Cooper, who took a stand against the treatment of Jewish people when he lead a protest to the German embassy in Melbourne in 1938.

There’ll also be a storytelling slam and a series of talks, including one by British journalist and performer Vivien Goldman (aka the Punk Professor) and another by artist and LGBT activist Zackary Drucker, a producer on the ground-breaking Amazon TV series Transparent. She'll speak about her work on the show, queer representation on screen and the intersection of Jewish and queer identities.

Find the full program and more information here.