The Festival of Jewish Arts and Music has just unveiled its full 2019 line-up, boasting some serious local and international talent, including Transparent producer Zackary Drucker, Revenge Of The She-Punks author Vivien Goldman and stacks more.

The “epic and radical” one-day program will take place at Melbourne Recital Centre on September 8, with a number of exclusive events alongside Australian debuts and other talent-packed shows.

Also joining the bill today is Israeli drag sensation Asis D'Orange, former Deerhoof member Chris Cohen, Tel Aviv EDM star Noga Erez and locals such as Deborah Conway, Paul Kelly, Kate Ceberano, Clare Bowditch and Gideon Obarzanek, who was recently named Melbourne Festival’s Artistic Director.  

"We are bringing together critically acclaimed and emerging artists working across music, dance, drag, comedy, theatre and moving image from Australia, Israel, Russia and England,” FOJAM Artistic Director Lior Albeck-Ripka said. 

"Whether it be through their performance, their process, composition or ideas, each artist is trying something new, and this year, we are asking our audiences to do the same. So come curious."

Festival Producer Jesse Lubitz added: “The festival is a celebration of Jewish identity, history, culture and arts - an expression of freedom. We hope artists and audiences walk away from FOJAM delighted, inspired, and maybe even challenged to reconsider their idea of the Jewish experience.”

FOJAM 2019 will feature four stages, 30 performances, and over 140 international and homegrown artists celebrating contemporary Jewish culture.

Check out the FOJAM website for the full line-up, tickets and more details, and find our must-see acts below!


FOJAM exclusive

The latest LP from US multi-instrumentalist Chris Cohen (formerly of Deerhoof) has been described as “a deeply personal work of radical transparency inspired by the dissolution of his parents’ marriage and his father’s addiction”. The gentle psych-pop mastermind will return to Australia for a headline set at FOJAM, and will also perform a song as part of the festival’s Lou Reed tribute, Transformer.


FOJAM exclusive

What promises to be not only one of FOJAM’s best events, but one of the best gigs of 2019, is Transformer, a Lou Reed tribute curated by local indie favourite Gabriella Cohen and collaborator/co-conspirator Kate “Babyshakes” Dillon (Full Flower Moon Band). The duo has hand-picked a number of artists to perform tributes to songs from the iconic Reed album. Artists confirmed to take part include Chris Cohen, Alex Gow (Oh Mercy), Emily Lubitz (Tinpan Orange), Bella Venuti (IV League), Spike Fuck and Deborah Conway. Transformer is an international/local collaboration where rehearsals will be taking place at the iconic Melbourne music hub Bakehouse through August. 


FOJAM Australian debut and exclusive 

One of Tel Aviv’s most talked about EDM acts, Noga Erez’ shows have made headlines across the world. Erez was born four days before the start of the Gulf War in Israel in 1990 and today notes: "Our way of trying to keep in contact with our feelings and fears, and of avoiding emotional detachment about everything, is music. Human beings can come from completely different places but share a fundamental basis of emotions. In my opinion, music is the form of art or communication that expresses that most accurately."


Revenge Of The She-Punks author Vivien Goldman has also been confirmed for FOJAM. Goldman in conversation with Deborah Conway will kick off the 2019 event, with the music journalist, academic, writer, educator and post-punk musician also giving a powerful keynote, participating in a panel of songwriters moderated by Bram Presser with Noga Erez and Chris Cohen as well and as performing a song in the Lou Reed tribute.


Catchy lo-fi pop laden with angst and a sceptical view of nostalgia is what local outfit Tamara & The Dreams will bring to FOJAM 2019. The group’s latest song, LO-FI, dropped in May to a wealth of praise and covers “seasonal depression, second-hand clothes, finger-biting and the ache of adolescent self-awareness”.