Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM) are gearing up for what’s sure to be a truly climactic season closer to their beloved 2020 Homeward Bound series of events this weekend. The highly anticipated Ladies Who Sing Leonard tribute concert is set to take place online this Saturday 7 November, coinciding with the four-year anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s passing. Featuring Ninet Tayeb (ISRAEL), Kate Ceberano, Katie Noonan, Deborah Conway, Kylie Auldist, Emily Lubitz (Tinpan Orange), Gabriella Cohen, Emma Donovan, Kee’ahn, Loretta Miller (Jazz Party), Melody Pool, Imogen Clark, Alma & Hettie Zygier, Tamara Reichman (Tamara & the Dreams), Sophia Tuv and an in-conversation with Anita Lester, the impressive lineup of dynamic artists will weave Leonard’s words around their own unique narratives in an immersive and transcendental tribute like no other. Ahead of the immersive event, we had a chat with local artist (and quite possibly a distant relative of The Master himself), Gabriella Cohen.

Hey Gabriella, thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us today! How’s your 2020 been?

Hey! Thanks for having me. Uh, it’s really been a trip…But that’s old news! So far though, the pandemic has been nothing but good to me. I skipped Melbourne town before the borders closed around 7 months ago.. My sister and I pulled a Mad Max and sped to our folks home in country QLD, where I’ve been living ever since. I have been thankful to be in river and plant paradise. 

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it or seen you perform live before?

Haha.. my drummer once said.. Neil Young backed by the Supremes. Let’s go with that. Although at the moment.. I feel like the music I’m making is music for plants… and infants..

You’re booked to play the online tribute concert ‘Ladies Who Sing Leonard’ this weekend, where a huge lineup of incredible women will be covering some classic Cohen tunes. We have to ask, is there any relation between you and the great man himself?

I believe he is my long lost grandfather.

What are some of your favourite Leonard Cohen songs?

Oh, my heart. Let’s see. The Old Revolution. Lady Midnight. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong. So Long Marianne. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.

Did you ever get a chance to see him live?

Yes! In 2011 I scored a reviewing job in Brisbane. I think I only applied for the job because I couldn’t afford tickets and I knew there was no option – I had to go. My first gig was Deep Purple, and my second gig was Leonard Cohen. I took my father – to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre… where Leonard Cohen performed a 3 hour + set… he just wouldn’t stop.. He was enjoying himself so much… down on his knees, cradling the mic, that twinkle in his eye and a half smile. 

And what are some of your favourite covers of all time?

I definitely do not have any favourite covers. Originals are my preference. But…. I have a fondness for Nina Simone’s cover of Bob Dylan ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’

What about your go-to Karaoke song?

Caution by Bob Marley. 

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

John Lennon because he is the ultimate. 

Finally, what’s next for Gabriella Cohen?

I’ll be by the river all summer long… and in the meantime I’ll be working on my next release.

Ladies Who Sing Leonard – A Leonard Cohen Tribute
Presented by FOJAM and Triple R
Saturday 7 November
Ninet Tayeb (ISRAEL), Kate Ceberano, Katie Noonan, Deborah Conway, Kylie Auldist, Emily Lubitz, Anita Lester, Gabriella Cohen, Emma Donovon, Kee’ahn, Loretta Miller (Jazz Party), Melody Pool, Imogen Clark, Alma & Hettie Zygier, Tamara Reichman (Tamara & the Dreams), and Sophia Tuv
Time: 
8.30pm – 10pm ADST
Where: Globally via Zoom
Tickets: Pay as you can
Registrations essential via Eventbrite
More information via the Facebook Event / FOJAM website
Exclusive Food Packages for Melbourne and Sydney audiences available via Six Braid / Lox Stock & Barrel