About Us



Shir Madness Jewish Music Festival is a one day music festival showcasing and celebrating the very best of Jewish music and Jewish performers from Australia and overseas.

Now alternating biennially between Sydney and Melbourne, Shir Madness is the only large scale Jewish Music Festival in Australasia. It is unique among Jewish music festivals across the globe because of its broad and pluralistic approach to artists.

The Festival also includes Song of Songs; the showcase where we ask 15 of our most treasured local singers to pick a song by their favourite Jewish composer that might have moved them, excited them, had personal meaning for them and perform that song for you. Jewish composers have been pivotal in Twentieth Century popular music. Previous Song of Songs have featured: Archie Roach, Kate Ceberano, Deborah Conway, Kate Miller-Heidke, Russell Morris, Claire Bowditch, Dave Faulkner, David Hobson, Emily Lubitz, Hue Blanes, Husky Gawenda, Kutcha Edwards, Kylie Auldist, Linda Bull, Mahalia Barnes, Rebecca Barnard, Ron Peno, Shane Howard, Steve Kilby, Tal Ben Ari, Tim Rogers, Husky Gawenda, Deborah Cheetam and Dave Graney

Shir Madness is a celebration of Jewish Culture, tradition and talent. It encompasses many styles of music including contemporary tributes to Jewish composers and songwriters, Cantorial, Yiddish, Klezmer, Ladino, Sephardic, Mizrachi and Israeli music. The programming also incorporates numerous other genres such as classical, folk, jazz, blues, rock, pop, world, reggae and hip-hop. Shir Madness embraces musicians of all ages, styles and backgrounds and is open to both the Jewish and wider community.

“Shir” means song in Hebrew.

In addition, Shir Madness aims to:

  • showcase the rich contribution made by Jewish artists in the area of music, dance and visual arts
  • encourage a positive experience of Jewish Culture within the Jewish and the wider community
  • build bridges and promote harmony between communities through the universal language of music
  • be a catalyst for Jewish performers to connect and network with other Jewish musicians and artists from Australia and around the world
  • provide role models and inspiration for young Jewish performers to pursue their artistic and creative potential
  • offer an open and non-threatening environment for those on the periphery of the Jewish community to explore and reconnect with their cultural heritage and Jewish identity

Be moved, be stimulated, be involved.



Shir Madness is a volunteer run, non-profit grass roots initiative run by a group of highly competent community-minded people who are passionate about music.












The committee includes the following people:

Gary Holzman
Festival Director

Nicola Ossher
Artistic Director

Phil Meltzer
Technical Director

John Lowbeer

Jeanette Kidron

Kerry Dreyer
Volunteer Co-ordinator

Michael Beaudoin

Shellie Conway
Graphic Design

Dahlia Will
Social Media

Dan Rosen
Song of Songs Curator

Estelle Rozinski
Visual Arts Curator

Judy Menczel
Film Producer