VJs Music Series

Monday 11 March - Yohai Cohen Quintet

Sunday 31 March - A Night of Opera

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VJs and Jewish Arts are excited to present internationally renowned oud player, vocalist and percussionist, Yohai Cohen to perform Moroccan Andalusian and cha’abi ('popular') music in Hebrew and Arabic at VJs on Monday 11 March.

In June 2017, Yohai Cohen officially launched his new Quintet, a Moroccan Jewish music project with sold out concerts in Melbourne and Sydney, captivating crowds from start to finish with an exciting range of energising, foot-stomping songs of celebration, melancholy hymns and outstanding musicianship. Improvisation plays a key part in their animated and vivid performance.

Yohai is a native of Safed, born to Moroccan parents from Casablanca and Marrakesh, and was a student of Adnan Baraky (oud), and Zohar Fresco (percussion). In recent years he has traveled in Morocco, beginning to master the rich cultural tapestry of traditional Andalusian and popular Maghrebi music. In July 2018 he was the featured soloist at the Festival des Andalousies Atlantique in Essouira, Morocco.  

Yohai performed at WOMADelaide 2017 as a special guest with The Piyut Ensemble and has also performed and recorded with many diverse musical projects and outstanding musicians in Israel and abroad, such as Yemen Blues, Eyal Sela, Idan Raichel, Rabbi Haim Louk (New Jerusalem Orchestra), Omer Avital, Shem Tov Levi, Benjamin Bouzaglo, and more.

Yohai’s Quintet brings together committed and passionate musicians: Simon Starr (bass, vocals), Gideon Preiss (keys, vocals), Nick Martyn (drums, vocals) and Yohai’s musical partner, virtuoso North African violinist Elad Levi. As they have immersed themselves in the deep grooves and melodies of North African music, their capacity to combine it with their decades of performing every other style of music make the Yohai Cohen Quintet a unique fusion of the music of Tarab El-andaloussi with Jazz, Funk and Electronica. This creates their cross-cultural and elastic Moroccan sound and rhythms. 

Don't miss this!!

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On Sunday 31 March, there will be a new kind of concert at VJs, this time featuring the fabulous voices of Celeste Siciliano, Soprano (USA) and Cantor Ted Labow, Bass-Baritone (Canada) as they present an evening of operatic favourites. Both born into musical families, they believe that Opera is a deeply human artform unparalleled in its ability to reach people on an emotional level. They will share some of Opera’s most beautiful, heart-wrenching and dramatic moments from Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto and Porgy & Bess.

Cantor Labow has sung on stages throughout the US, Italy and in his native Canada. He has been a featured soloist with Long Island Opera, New York Lyric Opera, Opera Lancaster, One World Symphony, Casalmaggiore Summer Festival, Myriad Opera, CAP and SOLT in Canada. Ms Siciliano has performed in the US, Germany, Austria and South Korea. She has sung with Landestheater Coburg, Staatstheater Kassel, Seoul Symphony, Manhattan Opera Theater, Opera Lancaster and One World Symphony in New York.

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