Stars align for Sydney’s Shir Madness music festival
An exciting all-star line-up at upcoming Jewish Music Festival SHIR MADNESS includes multiple Hall of Fame inductee Dave Faulkner (from the Hoodoo Gurus), Steve Kilby from The Church, rock and roll powerhouse (and daughter of Jimmy Barnes) Mahalia Barnes and young Aussie music star Martha Marlow (Qantas’ theme “It Feels Like Home”). They feature in one of the festival’s major attractions Song of Songs – where 15 of Australia’s favourite singers perform a song by their favourite Jewish composer.
Being held at its original home in the Bondi Pavilion on Sunday September 18 from noon to 10pm, 30 acts on four stages means Shir Madness offers something for all musical tastes.
Artists include disco party fun band Confetti, 2016 YouthRock winners the Haze Trio, ARIA-nominated African-indy folk blended Miriam Lieberman Trio, rock/blues/roots band Rick Melick & The Self-Made Men, Aussie-born Israeli singer-songwriter Simon Shaw and his band, meditative new-age artist and ‘DidjeriJew’ Steve Mazabow, Leonie Cohen and her jazz trio, the improvising crowd musicians who connect people and break barriers Human Sound Project, Mark Ginsburg’s award-winning Jazz Band and – in its 30th anniversary year – the Sydney Jewish Choral Society.
They join gypsy world music dance fiends Monsieur Camembert, multi-lingual chanteuse Dahlia Dior, Klezmer Divas (stars of the documentary Pockets of Hope), classical activists Music for Refugees, the Bashevis Singers (featuring Husky Gawenda and Gideon Preis), and soulful Melbourne duo Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier.
Conway and Zygier are patrons of the Sydney festival and ran the Melbourne one last year. “It’s a lot of fun,” Conway told JAO. “It’s a great way for people who want to find particular things that interest them in the one place.” And what’s her favourite piece of Jewish music? “The Hatikvah is beautiful. I really like it. I always find it moving.” Their new album Everybody’s Begging has just been released, on September 2, and they will be performing it in its entirety at the festival for their many fans.
Another popular item will be Festival director Gary Holzman’s multimedia presentation Yid Rock– revealing the Jewish composers behind some of rock and roll’s greatest hits. “The festival showcases a lot of popular music that people don’t realise was created by Jewish composers,” Holzman observed.
A special presentation of highlights from the blockbuster hit Atomic – the Musical, co-written by songwriter Philip Foxman with Danny Ginges, will be showcased, featuring stars from both the Sydney and US productions with a full stage band. “Music appeals to everyone – across gender, race, language, age and ethnic backgrounds; Shir Madness offers the opportunity to break down barriers,” Foxman told JAO.
More info at: www.shirmadness.com
Compiled by Paula Towers for Jewish World Life Online