Festival of Jewish Arts & Music (FOJAM)

Melbourne Recital Centre & Shir Madness Melbourne presents FOJAM

Festival of Jewish Arts & Music (FOJAM) is a contemporary international music and arts festival that showcases the spirit and diversity of Jewish identity, culture and life.

FOJAM (Formerly Shir Madness Melbourne) encompasses over 30 performances in Melbourne Recital Centre over one full day in September 2019, featuring an exciting lineup of local, national and international artists. Its program extends to contemporary dance, theatre and spoken word, as well as panel discussions, installations and film screenings, with a focus on music.

After two highly successful Shir Madness Melbourne Jewish Music Festivals under the artistic direction of Australian legends and ARIA award-winning musicians Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier, the festival has announced Lior Albeck-Ripka and Jesse Lubitz, founders of music and events agency Hear Them Holler, as its Festival Directors.

Deborah Conway says, ‘Willy and I both feel a great sense of achievement in having developed the festival to the point where it can engage music professionals and shake things up a little. We will continue to be heavily involved as we move into the roles of Festival Patrons.’

‘Festival highlight, Song of Songs, will continue to be programmed – Willy and I will handpick our favourite and most treasured Australian singers to sing a song by their favourite Jewish composer, led by an all-star backing band,’ says Conway.

Festival Director Jesse Lubitz adds, ‘While this is an ambitious undertaking, and we have big shoes to fill, it is a very exciting time for us, and we have every confidence that the Festival will flourish and continue to invigorate our community’s cultural arts scene.’

Part of Lior and Jesse’s vision for FOJAM is for each year’s Festival to be centred around a chosen theme. The theme for 2019 is ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, a tip of the hat to Jewish queer post-punk legend Lou Reed. FOJAM Artistic Director, Lior Albeck-Ripka, says: ‘The themes give us a framework for going deep into an aspect of the Jewish experience hopefully connecting some dots and maybe challenging others. With the ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ theme we are looking at artists who resist the status quo in some way – and in highlighting them, we are asking our audiences to take a bit of a walk on the wild side as well.’

FOJAM takes over Melbourne Recital Centre on Sunday 8 September 2019. The full program will be announced in March 2019.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale at $130 with more ticketing options available from March.


Sunday 8 September 11am
Melbourne Recital Centre
Tickets from $130 (full day)
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Shir Madness Melbourne

Click here to view the event details and to book tickets.


Di Rolle | 0419 001 068

Prue Bassett | 0419 559 040