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Listen to this: Australian Jewish musicians you should know

From jazz to soul, pop to fusion, the Australian music scene is bursting with homegrown Jewish talent and Israeli expats.
Ruby Kraner-Tucci
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Image: Patrik Michalicka/Unsplash.

Published: 15 January 2024

Last updated: 19 March 2024

For many of us, music acts as an important tool in helping make sense of the world. We turn to it for celebration, distraction, comfort and even grief.

Within the Australian music industry brimming with talent are a host of Jewish musicians portraying the vast emotion of the community in their own unique style. From soulful jazz to independent acoustic, chart-topping pop to klezmer fusion – homegrown Jewish talent and Israeli migrants are proudly representing the community’s diversity and strengths through song.

In the final installment of our three-part series covering the best Jewish media to consume this summer, we round up five exciting Jewish musicians in Australia and curate a selection of Jewish playlists for you to try.

Missed our summer series? Check out the best new Jewish TV and films to watch right now – and if you prefer podcasts, here are 10 to help you better understand Israel.

For soulful independent music… try Lior

Lior Attar first arrived on the Australian music scene almost two decades ago with his independent debut album “Autumn Flow”, and the Israeli-born Australian singer-songwriter has not slowed down since. His studio albums have picked up a host of accolades, including nominations and wins at the ARIA, APRA and J Awards, and his hit “This Old Love” has been streamed over 15 million times on Spotify.

Lior has also collaborated with the Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, and both written and performed children’s music and theatre scores.

For modern (and local) klezmer fusion… try Chutney

Sydney-based Chutney’s debut song became an internet sensation late last year, with their cover of Hebrew pop anthem "Kama At Yafa" – and associated music video which supported Israelis post October 7 – generating over 350,000 views on Instagram in its first week.

Formed in 2020, the six-piece klezmer fusion band draws on the Eastern European and Middle Eastern Jewish heritage of its members to create modern music traversing a range of genres. Their debut album is set to be released in March this year.

For an extraordinary jazz voice… try Alma Zygier

Melbourne-born jazz and blues performer Alma Zygier is soulful, spell bounding and talented beyond her (very youthful) years.

Zygier – the daughter of Australian music legends Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier – dazzles regularly sold-out audiences with her take on songs made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, and composers George Gershwin and Jerome Kern. Her first album will be released this year.  

For masterful saxophone and a great backstory… try Shmoné

The Shmoné project is all about supporting the local music scene. It’s the brainchild of musician Idan Shoham, aka Shmoné, who grew up in Tel Aviv but later settled in Perth – and has been collaborating with musicians across the country ever since.

A talented saxophonist, guitarist, singer and loop artist, Shoham decided to travel the world through music. He also performs solo shows, bringing Hebrew classics, much-loved English anthems and his funky originals to towns throughout Australia.

For chart-topping pop… try Troye Sivan

Raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, singer-songwriter and actor Troye Sivan was born in South Africa but moved to Perth aged two and his vast contribution to the Australian pop music scene makes it easy to claim him as our own.

The 28-year-old was discovered after gaining popularity as a singer on YouTube. Since then, several of Sivan’s catchy dance songs have topped charts across the world, from Billboard Hot 100 to the UK Singles Chart and ARIA Singles Chart, with his track "Rush" producing his first Grammy Award nominations.

For a little bit of everything… try these playlists

If you are struggling to settle on just one artist, do not fear. These Spotify playlists have some fantastic Jewish music to choose from, from Hebrew ballads to Yiddish folk and heart-pumping English pop. Plus, they’re regularly updated so you can keep discovering more all year long.

Looking for more?

Beyond Australia's small community, there are thousands of Jewish artists to try. Here are some starting points.

  • After converting to Judaism in 2013 and making Aliyah three years later, rapper Nissim Black now counts himself amongst Israel’s Hasidic community. He channels his Black and Jewish identities into his popular hip-hop songs – with some generating over five million views.  
  • After making history by joining Israel’s Got Talent as a judge at just 16-years-old, Jewish singer-songwriter Noa Kirel has been a rising star, with her pop hit “Unicorn” earning her third place in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest.


John Zorn’s avant-garde Jewish music is finally on Spotify. His fans remain locked in debate. (JTA)
Long one has been one of the country’s most respected experimental musicians and composers, with much of his work inspired by Jewish themes, Zorn operates the influential label Tzadik Records, which has released dozens of innovative takes on Jewish music and melodies through its Radical Jewish Culture series.

About the author

Ruby Kraner-Tucci

Ruby Kraner-Tucci is a journalist and assistant editor of TJI. Her writing has appeared in The Age, Time Out, Law Society Journal and Dumbo Feather Magazine. She previously reported on the charity sector as a journalist for Pro Bono News and undertook internships at The Australian Jewish News and Broadsheet Media.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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