16 of music’s leading female vocalists to honour Leonard Cohen in special event

16 of music’s leading female vocalists to honour Leonard Cohen in special event

Emma Donovan and Kee'ahn
Words by Tom Parker

The event will coincide with the fourth anniversary of his passing.

The Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM) are curating a special event to conclude their Homeward Bound series which will see 16 of music’s leading female vocalists come together to honour the great Leonard Cohen.

Ladies Who Sing Leonard will feature appearances from the likes of Ninet Tayeb (Israel), Kate Ceberano, Katie Noonan, Deborah Conway, Kylie Auldist, Emily Lubitz, Gabriella Cohen, Emma Donovan and Kee’ahn.

Other names include Loretta Miller (Jazz Party), Melody Pool, Imogen Clark, Alma & Hettie Zygier, Tamara Reichman (Tamara & The Dreams) and Sophia Tuv, while there will also be an in-conversation with revered Melbourne artist and FOJAM curator Anita Lester.

More than just a cavalcade of Cohen covers, the vocalists will be looking to use the great Canadian singer-songwriter’s lyrics as their springboard to explore more dynamic and transcendent narratives in what proves to be a fascinating event.

In fitting fashion, Ladies Who Sing Leonard will take place on November 7 – the fourth anniversary of Cohen’s passing.

“It’s been 20 years since I fell hard for the words of Leonard Cohen and the pictures he painted,” Lester says of Cohen’s influence on her. “It’s also been 20 years since I wanted to make my life about music, art and poetry.

“This project [Ladies Who Sing Leonard] is inspired by my (sometimes confused) Jewish heritage, the spirit of my homeland and all the sex, love and death that falls in between. Leonard Cohen taught me that art can change the lives of the people around you.”

FOJAM’s Homeward Bound online series first kicked off in June with their first event Unorthodox: Stories of Escape – a panel discussion featuring a host of acclaimed authors – and has continued across the next four or so months clocking over 6,000 online viewers on a ‘pay what you can’ basis.

Forging ahead despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19, with Homeward Bound, FOJAM has continued on their mission to provide unique insights into Jewish culture and identity and the creative minds within it.

View this post on Instagram

All Female Line Up. Ladies Who Sing Leonard⁠ ⁠ ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️⁠ ⁠ A Tribute like no other.⁠ ⁠ It's Leonard Cohen FFS. He kneels at the alter of the feminine and the power of female interpretation around his words. ⁠ ⁠ Let's give it to the man. ⁠ ⁠ 16 Australian and International Women.⁠ Sat 7 November, 8.30pm Live on Zoom. ⁠ ⁠ Tix via 🎟 Link in bio⁠ ⁠ @n.tayeb (Israel) ⁠ @therealkateceberano⁠ @katie_noonan_music⁠ @deborahconway⁠ @kylieauldist⁠ @emily_lubitz⁠ @anita.lester.music⁠ @emily_lubitz⁠ @gabriellaacohen⁠ @emmadonovan_music⁠ @melodyjanepool⁠ @imogen__clark⁠ @lorettamillermusica ⁠ @kee.ahn⁠ @preston_zygier_⁠ @tamaraandthedreams⁠ @sophiatuv (Israel)⁠ ⁠ #ladieswhosingleanoard #fojam #ragsoflight

A post shared by FOJAM (@fojammelbourne) on

Ladies Who Sing Leonard goes down on Saturday November 7 on Zoom via a ‘pay what you can’ basis. Register your attendance here.

Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.