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Passionate women are on song throughout November – answering what gives life meaning to the embrace of freedom.

The meaning of life is Not 42

Five passionate women seek the Meaning of Life… and the answer is not 42, but K.I.S.S. – keeping it simple glamrock style!

Welcome to Women in Voice 19 with mistress of ceremonies Alison St Ledger, co-founder of Brisbane Cabaret Festival. True to the original vision, WIV included established singers and an emerging performer, Lauren Lucille (love gives meaning to life).

The night belonged to Aussie blues mama L’il Fi who closed with her glamrock set, Kasey Patrick on dreaming and imagination, who channelled Barbra Streisand and the Celtic sean nos style, threaded together by Alison’s poignant reflections on each.

The emotional showstopper was Leah Cotterell’s set bridging life experiences from spoken poetry to song: This is Cabaret!

Gracias a la Vida: Thanks to Life!

Yasmin Levy graced Brisbane’s Powerhouse stage in her second tour of Australia. The opening set was noted for her frank admission that she did not recall her first visit to Brisbane in early 2008 and patchy vocals. A microphone change was a blessed relief but some drop-outs at the end of phrases continued.

Yasmin is a polished performer and the songs are delivered with passion. Yasmin is noted for her performances of Ladino (Sephardi) songs collected by her father Yitzah Levy, cantor and musicologist. He died when she was one but she has been able to fulfil a dream of performing with him by singing with a found 50-year-old recording.

Yasmin said in a recent London interview that she is moving away, gradually, from performing the Ladino songs to her own compositions. She closed with her new album’s title track Libertad – a plea for freedom for women who do not have the same choices we do in the West.

By concert’s end, Brisbane embraced Yasmin warmly – but we’re a ‘polite’ audience. (Other Spanish and flamenco performers say the same).

We also gave a warm embrace to local support group Mzaza. Mzaza formed from the Waziz music sessions featured in the recently released documentary by Julie Romaniuk. Here’s to life!