This September, Melbourne’s Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM) is making its shining debut to celebrate Jewish artforms in all their wild, cutting-edge and beautiful splendour.

This year’s theme, ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, inspired by legendary Jewish post-punk pioneer Lou Reed, will bring together artists from across the globe who push boundaries, experiment with art forms, and open-up necessary conversations about identity, sexuality, gender, race and more, through their unquestionable talents.

Expect the unexpected, the subversive, the rebellious and the heroic, as FOJAM promises to deliver a festival that showcases the incredible diversity and vitality of intersectional Jewish identities. And everyone’s invited to come and engage with Jewish culture in a new and dynamic way: through the well-known vessel of the music festival.

FOJAM 2019 is set to highlight the incredible members of the Jewish community in ways that we know will leave us jaw-dropped and simply stunned, with acts across four stages in 12 hours. Have no fears about your schedule either, FOJAM is selling both daytime and evening passes, and just looking at the line-up set to perform already lets us know that we’re in for a real treat.

From our hometown heroes with the best band name of the decade, Approachable Members of Your Local Community, to international powerhouses Chris Cohen and Noga Erez (who are performing in Australia exclusively), everyone who comes to revel in the sound and song of these Jewish artists is sure to be blown away. The only thing to expect is the unexpected.

Here are only some of the artists and acts on FOJAM 2019’s lineup that you will not want to miss.

Transformer – A Tribute to Lou Reed

Transformer Lou Reed

As the headline event for FOJAM, it goes without saying that this performance is a must-see. Gabriella Cohen has teamed up with Kate “Babyshakes” Dillon as musical directors of the event and have chosen artists to perform songs from Lou Reed’s endlessly iconic album Transformer. Be sure to catch the all-star lineup including Chris Cohen, international icon Vivien Goldman and the legendary Deborah Conway, who wait in the wings to do Lou Reed more than enough justice in what is to be a stunning tribute.

Noga Erez (Israel)

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Proving herself to be a force in EDM Music with 2017’s Off the Radar and this year’s RADAR Reworked, Noga Erez will be closing FOJAM with an unmissable set of perfected electronic tunes that bring a unique flair to the scene. This Tel-Aviv based singer and producer takes notes from the likes of Bjork, Flying Lotus and Frank Ocean – and if you know what that means, be ready for something truly incredible and left of centre.

Chris Cohen (USA)

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Former member of Deerhoof better known for his solo singer-songwriter projects, Chris Cohen always wears his heart on his sleeve, with songs that are drenched in suave sophistication and selfless waves of soul. This is best captured on his aptly self-titled 2019 project Chris Cohen, a personal and unnervingly open album that cements Cohen’s place as one of songwriting’s greatest.