Five significant Leonard Cohen songs, as told by Kee’ahn, Kylie Auldist, Ninet Tayeb and more

Five significant Leonard Cohen songs, as told by Kee’ahn, Kylie Auldist, Ninet Tayeb and more

From left to right - Ninet Tayeb, Kylie Auldist and Tamara Reichman

Kee’ahn, Kylie Auldist, Loretta Miller, Ninet Tayeb and Tamara Reichman spill the beans on the songs they’ll sing as part of Ladies Who Sing Leonard.

The Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM) will present the virtual concert Ladies Who Sing Leonard on Saturday November 7. Put together by Melbourne musician Anita Lester, the 90-minute Leonard Cohen tribute show will feature an ensemble of powerful women vocalists, including Ninet Tayeb, Deborah Conway and Gabriella Cohen.

Before the event goes down, we asked some of the vocalists to tell us about the significance of the songs they’ll be singing on the night.

Kee’ahn – ‘Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’

Leonard Cohen’s timeless words are printed onto many hearts and minds inspiring us to see the light shine through the cracks of everything. Expressing myself through the lens of Leonard’s art is an honour and has painted me differently.

Kylie Auldist – ‘In My Secret Life’

I wasn’t raised on Leonard Cohen. It took me a long time to appreciate the depth of his poetry. I didn’t know how to listen. I have a long way to go but I think I’m ready. I chose ‘In My Secret Life’ because Sharon Robinson’s voice spoke to me. I felt and respected their connection as songwriters and felt her loving hand, and her voice that supported him through his last tour. She translated Leonard’s musicality to me. I’m honoured to be celebrating his life and work with these amazing women.

Loretta Miller – ‘Anthem’

I always knew about Leonard but didn’t grow up in a Lenny family. I had just about everything else but somehow always missed him. I recall seeing other people go really deep with the records but I suppose I didn’t really take full notice until a True Detective opening credits featured one of his tunes and I was into the vibe of his later sound and style. Dark and heavy and mysterious. I like drama I suppose.

I chose ‘Anthem’ because when I listened I could immediately hear a way in for me. I could hear myself doing it my way rather than trying to think of something cool and feeling stressed. It’s also a very gorgeous song and has less than six verses so I was down.

Ninet Tayeb – Hallelujah

I feel blessed for this opportunity. Singing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, in these crazy times means so much to me. The whole world is flipping upside down and tries to get a hold of something and I really do hope this would bring a moment of peace of mind.

Tamara Reichman – ‘So Long Marianne’

How young is too young for a small child to sing along to every word of Leonard Cohen’s 1988 classic ‘I’m Your Man’? My stepdad Gerry played his CDs on repeat in the car during my formative years and I was hooked from the start. Leonard’s death came at the very cusp of my 20s when I returned to his albums over and over while travelling and figuring out how to be a real person.

I’m so blessed to get be part of this show with a bunch of incredible women and to get to sing the ultimate, best, most important, Leonard song ever, ‘So Long Marianne’, with my BFF Alma Zygier.

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

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