That Song Changed My Life by Mama Alto

Next date: Friday, 12 May 2023 | 07:30 PM to 08:50 PM

South Side Festival: That Song Changed My Life by Mama Alto

A moving, cathartic and triumphant new collaborative work from cabaret artiste Mama Alto about the power of music in our lives.

“Jazz standards soaring into the heavens on the wings of trans diva Mama Alto.” - Cameron Woodhead, The Age

Event Description

You walk into a darkened theatre, taking your seat. There’s the familiar hush of anticipation as the lights begin to glow and the musicians quietly tune their instruments. The music begins. You gasp: It’s your song.

Most of us have that song which means so much to us, represents a pivotal moment, or played during a significant time.

That Song Changed My Life is a new work from cabaret artiste Mama Alto, collaborating with local community members to explore a time in their lives when music was important: a song that changed their life.

Mama and her musicians will reinterpret those songs through the lens of those stories to create a moving, cathartic and triumphant performance event, unique and unrepeatable: "That Song Changed My Life."

Praise for Mama Alto's previous performances:

“One could have heard a pin drop, until the cheering and applause at the end.” - Broadway World

“Her voice is unique, powerful, seductive, subversive and stylish.”- Adelaide Advertiser


Presented by South Side Festival and Frankston Arts Centre

About Mama Alto

“Mama Alto is an exceptionally talented singer, who makes the question as to whether it is a woman or a man singing obsolete. It is clearly an angel.” - The Conversation

“Divine” - The Havana Tribune

“Near flawless” - The Age

“A knockout” - The Herald Sun

Mama Alto is a jazz singer, cabaret artiste & gender transcendent diva. She is a transgender & queer person of colour who works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness and power in vulnerability.

Fierce, femme and fabulous, she has performed at beloved venues including The Butterfly Club, Brisbane Powerhouse, Chapel off Chapel, The Famous Spiegeltent, Hares & Hyenas, The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne Recital Centre, the National Gallery of Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne & more, and festivals such as Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, Feast (Adelaide), Emerging Writers Festival, Festival of Voices (Hobart), Marysville Jazz & Blues, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Midsumma Festival, Stonnington Jazz, Sydney Mardi Gras & more.

Mama has toured with legendary production house Finucane & Smith to Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Darwin Festival, Desert Harmony Festival (Tennant Creek), and the Havana International Theatre Festival (Cuba) performing in celebrated productions “Glory Box” and “The Rapture;” she has acted in Declan Greene’s play “The Homosexuals” (Malthouse Theatre & Griffin Theatre Company 2017); featured as a soloist in Taylor Mac & Pomegranate Arts ‘24 Decade History of Popular Music’ (Melbourne Festival 2017); written plays including as a Cybec Electric playwright (Melbourne Theatre Company 2019); been published in Maeve Marsden’s Queerstories (Hachette), and many journals (including Curator) & queer magazines (including Archer); activated archives with Brook Andrew (De Anima, NGV/RMIT/Bendigo Art Gallery); and is co-creator of highly acclaimed variety cabaret “Gender Euphoria,” Australia’s largest ever trans & gender diverse main stage production (Arts Centre Melbourne 2019, Melbourne International Arts Festival 2019, Sydney Mardi Gras 2020).

She has been awarded the 2021 Australia Council for the Arts Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts & Cultural Development, a 2020/2019 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, the 2019 Australian LGBTI Awards Music Artist of the Year, the 2018 City of Yarra Contributions to the Arts Award, the 2017 GLOBE Melbourne LGBTI Awards Artist of the Year, the 2016 Outstanding Access & Inclusion Award at Melbourne Fringe, and the 2014 Best Cabaret Weekly Award at Adelaide Fringe.

As an arts sector expert and cultural consultant, she sits on the VicHealth Arts Expert Advisory Panel, the Green Room Awards Association Cabaret Panel, the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performing Arts (Monash University) Industry Expert Panel, the Advisory Group of The People of Cabaret, the Advisory Group of the Staging Australian Women’s Lives ARC research project, and served as the Artist Development Programs Coordinator at Midsumma Festival from 2020 to 2021.

As an LGBTIQA+ community member and mental health advocate, she sits on the Board of Switchboard Victoria, is a non- governing Member of the Victorian Pride Centre, and is currently serving as CEO/ Executive Director of Transgender Victoria.

Her arts events and projects have frequently served as fundraisers for causes including mental health, marriage equality, homelessness and bushfire recovery.











  • Friday, 12 May 2023 | 07:30 PM - 08:50 PM

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