The Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM), formerly Shir Madness Melbourne, takes over the Melbourne Recital Centre in a day-long immersion of contemporary Jewish culture with 30 performances across music, theatre, dance and conversation on Sunday 8 September, 2019.
Inspired by Lou Reed’s urgent call to Walk on the Wild Side, the program features over 140 international and homegrown artists who are breaking or have already broken convention to carve new paths.
Among the international headliners making their debut on Australian stages are Israeli beatmaker and producer Noga Erez; American singer-songwriter Chris Cohen, formerly of the band Deerhoof; stalwart British journalist and performer Vivien Goldman (aka “the Punk Professor”) and the producer on the TV series Transparent, Zackary Drucker.
In the Festival’s headline performance, Transformer - A Tribute to Lou Reed, indie-pop artist Gabriella Cohen leads Alex Gow (Oh Mercy), Emily Lubitz (Tinpan Orange), Bella Venuti (IV League), Spike Fuck and ARIA-winning post-punk legend Deborah Conway, who perform songs from Reed’s iconic album Transformer. Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier also curate and perform in the Festival favourite Song of Songs, a tribute to Jewish songwriters and composers.
George Dreyfus, Mary Ocher, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community; rising soul sensation Emilia; Tamara and the Dreams Josh Abrahams and singer Galit Kla, Shoshana Rosenberg and the silken sounds of Alma Zygier also featuring on the program.
Along with the 22-piece avant-garde Yiddish funk and klezmer ensemble YID!, beloved Melbourne punks Yidcore, dance works from Gideon Obarzanek and Israel Aloni, Oren Ambarchi & crys cole, Asis D’Orange and more.