Shir Gold

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By Henry Shires

No not a Kosher Ska Festival (though not a bad idea!), but the first ever Melbourne International Jewish Music Festival. And in our own little old, not-traditionally-the-epicentre of-the-world-music-industry, Elsternwick, to boot.

And before you get too worried, it’s not strictly Orthodox or Jewish only. And you don’t have to come dressed exclusively in monotone (unless, again, you are a diehard “Two Tone” Ska aficionado). Or grow a long dramatic beard (especially the ladies amongst you).

Nor is the music exclusively traditional Jewish.

Instead you will be able to savour a day of auditory delights as diverse and eclectic as Jewish international culture itself including such Jewish jewels and hip-than-hip-hipster highlights as:

Current US chart topping Neo-Hasidic bearded hipswingers Zusha

Rita Satch where soul meets Sephardic beats

(Not particularly cheesy) Sydney Gypsy Kings Monsieur Camembert

Twenty something hometown indie-folksters Tinpan Orange

Sydney born New York trained virtuoso percussion and composer Robbie Avenaim

And last but certainly not least Australia’s own neo Cohenesque Jewish wife and husband nu folk duo Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier who also directed and curated the Festival!

But that’s not all folks! At the very pinnacle of this already imposing event is the almost old testament grandeur and gasp factor of the “Song of Songs” section. In which some possibly even better known none Jewish Australian performers add their own particular accents to their favourite song by a Jewish songwriter. Includes Archie Roach, Tim Rogers, Kate Ceberano, Ron Peno, Rebecca Barnard and many more.

If you don’t already have a red hot date for Sunday 6th September get yourself onto as the very reasonably priced one day (Classic Cinema and Kadimah Hall, Selwyn Street, Elsternwick based event) tickets are, quite literally, selling out like straight-out-of-the-oven-fresh-in-the-early-hours-of-the-morning New York bagels!

And if you do have a red hot date, buy an extra ticket for them too, while you can. For music, especially the uniquely diverse auditory feast served up by international Jewish music, is also very importantly not only one of the best mediums for expressing, in all its glorious forms…but is also the very food of…love.

The first Melbourne International Jewish Music Festival: Shir madness
6TH September



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