Tag Archives: Mahelia Barnes


Despite constant rain, some of it torrential, music lovers were not deterred last Sunday from attending what was the 7th Shir Madness Music Festival at the Bondi Pavilion.

Spread over four stages, thirty five acts over tehours performed musical genres including classical, world, choral, cabaret, musical theatre, klezmer, ladino, disco, zydeco, rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz and more.

Each stage was named after songs written and made famous by Jewish songwriters. The marquee was called Beautiful Noise (Neil Diamond), the Seagull room was became the Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) stage, the theatre became the Summertime (George and Ira Gershwin) stage,and the function room became the Tapestry (Carole King) stage.

The range of talent on show ranged from high school kids to top headline acts. Well known musicians such as Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus, Mahalia Barnes, Steve Kilbey of The Church and Tina Harrod were prepared to support the Festival such that each sang only one song before coming together to form a choir to sing the finale, The Song Of Songs. This was fitting as the Festival began with the sweet voices of the Sydney Jewish Choral Society singing traditional and popular Jewish songs.

This Festival has been the baby of Gary Holzman, the Festival Director who last year successfully expanded it to Melbourne.


All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).