Ljova and the Kontraband

 

Ljova and the Kontraband photo by Allan Tannenbaum - click to download high resolution photo

photo ©Allan Tannenbaum

Official showcase selection, WOMEX 2013

UPCOMING SHOWS:

July 5 – Keene Music Festival (Keene, NH)
July 6 – Grafton Music Festival (Grafton, VT)

For details, see the schedule.
Check out the archive of past dates.

New music, old magic. If genre-defying music was a genre, Ljova and the Kontraband would probably defy that too. For if bringing together influences from classical, klezmer, tango, jazz and Gypsy music has been done before, nobody does it quite like this. Moscow-born, New York-based composer, arranger and violist Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin writes and plays music that evokes forgotten memories of things you think you’ve heard before but haven’t, while dreaming of Bartok and Piazzolla trundling through an early-morning Hungarian mist in a three-legged race to the village dance at the end of time. The ensemble features his close collaborators on accordion, bass and percussion, as well as the vocal of Inna Barmash.

An official WOMEX 2013 showcase selection, the ensemble has performed at venues such as New York’s Lincoln Center & the Museum of Modern Art, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it was the opening musical guest of the Sundance@BAM Film Festival. The Kontraband is also a mainstay at New York’s Joe’s Pub, and Barbes.

Their second album, “NO REFUND ON FLOWERS”, was released on May 12 2014. The Kontraband’s debut CD, “MNEMOSYNE”, featured special guests Frank London, William Schimmel, Uli Geissendoerfer, Alon Yavnai and Marcus Rojas.

USA Booking: Curtis LeClair
Europe Booking: Miriam Brenner / Kokako Music.
For all booking inquiries, please contact booking@Ljova.com.

LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND is:

— Ljova (viola & fadolin)
— Inna Barmash (vocal)
— Patrick Farrell (accordion)
— Mathias Kunzli (percussion)
— Jordan Morton (bass)

[Presenters - please visit the arts presenters page for tech rider, high-resolution photos, residency activities, links & other downloads.]


VIDEOS:

— Visit the Ljova and the Kontraband YouTube Playlist


REVIEWS:

Justin Davidson, New York Newsday

This eclectic violist’s music is anything but plain folk.  [There is] nobody quite like the polymath Lev ['Ljova'] Zhurbin…The music he writes and plays is full of Brahmsian tone, Bartok lines, hiccupping Hungarian rhythms, Klezmer soul and the sexy plaintiveness of tango and the blues. (Read full review)

The New Yorker

richly textured palette featuring Eastern European and Gypsy melodies beautifully offset by Latin-tinged rhythms

Bill Bragin, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City

Ljova and the Kontraband play genre-defying music beautifully and soulfully. Organically bringing together influences ranging from classical and new music, klezmer, tango, jazz, Gypsy music and more, their music is smartly original, steeped in tradition while moving those traditions forward. Ljova is also a savvy promoter who continually demonstrates that independent artists can effectively use new models of music distribution and social networking to bring their music to the public on their own terms.

 

Alexander Gelfand, Jazziz

…This past January, the Russian-born, New York City-based violist Ljova and his Vjola Contraband drew a full house at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan, forcing fans to stand three-deep at the room’s swanky, dimly lit bar. Rarely have I seen so many young, attractive people pay to hear a band with no less than two violists not to mention an accordion player, an acoustic bassist, and a percussionist who bears a striking resemblance to Sideshow Bob…. The off-kilter rhythms he favors recall the asymmetrical dance beats of central and southeastern Europe, where time signatures tend to look like hat sizes (7/8, 13/8, 15/16). They tug and pull at you in strange and mysterious ways, as do Ljova’s melodies, which have the tuneful, emotive quality of good pop. (Read full review)


TRACKS FOR SALE:


Special guests & collaborators:

— Mike Savino (bass and banjo, 2006-2012)
— Ash / Æ – (vocal/instrumental duet)
— Aszure Barton & Artists (dancers)
— Brooklyn Rider (string quartet)
— Ron Caswell (tuba)
— Taylor Bergren-Chrisman (bass)
— Mike Block (cello)
— Alexis Cuadrado (bass)
— Sarah Darling (viola)
— EmiKa (laptop & remixing)
— Freefall (dancers)
— Uli Geissendoerfer (piano)
— John Hadfield (percussion)
— Frank London (trumpet & flugelhorn)
— Shoko Nagai (accordion & piano)
— Parker String Quartet
— Reuben Radding (bass)
— Marcus Rojas (tuba)
— Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion (bandoneon)
— Merlin Shepherd (clarinet)
— Talvin Singh (tabla, vocal percussion)
— Rich Stein (percussion)
— Satoshi Takeishi (percussion)
— Mary Wilson — of The Supremes (vocal)
— Ronn Yedidia (accordion)
— Alon Yavnai (piano)


PAST DATES:

(go back to upcoming dates)

05.11.14 National Opera Center (New York, NY) – double bill with Banda Magda, as part of the inaugural parallel concerts – read more here
03.09.14 Chutzpah! Festival (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
01.18.14 Zlatne Uste Golden Festival (Brooklyn, NY)
11.03.13 Dupuy’s Landing House Concert (Chelsea, NY)
10.26.13 WOMEX Conference Official Showcase (Cardiff, Wales, UK)
10.24.13 Burnett’s Hill Chapel (Martletwy, Wales, UK)
10.23.13 Jamboree (London, UK)
10.21.13 Barbès (Brooklyn, NY)
09.01.13 Parksville USA Music Fesival (Parksville, NY)
05.01.13 Littlefield (Brooklyn, NY) – double bill with Brooklyn Rider
04.24.13 UBS Atrium Series — presented by Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center (Weehawken, NJ)
01.05.13 Brooklyn Museum — presented by Carnegie Hall & Target (Brooklyn, NY)
10.04.12 Symphony Space (New York, NY)
07.30.12 Shorefront Y (Brooklyn, NY)
07.07.12 Rite of Summer Music Festival (Governors Island, NY)
03.30.12 Club Drom (Lower East Side, NY)
03.23.12 University of Vermont, Lane Series (Burlington, VT)
11.09.11 Central Library, Dwecklectic series (Brooklyn, NY)
10.25.11 Barbes (Brooklyn, NY)
09.16.11 Barbes (Brooklyn, NY)
06.02.11 JCC in Manhattan (New York, NY) – 5th Anniversary Show, with guests, dancers from Aszure Barton and Artists
05.24.11
05.25.11
92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Auditorium (New York, NY)
Four educational concerts for 3000+ New York City school children
04.06.11 Joe’s Pub (New York, NY) – double bill with Ash (Æ)
04.03.11 Ditmas Acoustic (Brooklyn, NY) – double bill with Ash (Æ)
04.03.11 Cinema Arts Centre (Huntington, NY)
04.02.11 Unison Arts Center (New Paltz, NY)
04.01.11 Club Helsinki Hudson (Hudson, NY)
12.17.10
12.18.10
12.19.10
Baryshnikov Arts Center — Ljova and the Kontraband appear as part of “BUSK”, a new work by choreographer Aszure Barton, with live music by Ljova and the Kontraband (New York, NY)
10.13.10 THE STONE (New York, NY)
8.12.10 LINCOLN CENTER – DAVID RUBENSTEIN ATRIUM (New York, NY)
7.24.10 BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK (Brooklyn, NY)
7.20.10 COLORADO MUSIC FESTIVAL (Boulder, CO)
5.02.10,
6.06.10,
6.13.10
8.08.10
Ljova and the Kontraband Residency at
the American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY)
5.12.10 LITTLEFIELD (Brooklyn, NY) – triple bill with Zyklos, Twice as Bright
3.08.10 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY) – double bill with Barmaljova
1.12.10 JOE’S PUB (New York, NY) – double bill with Jofre Romarion New Tango Quartet
11.21.09 GOWANUS STUDIO SPACE – for the release of Habitus 05: Moscow (Brooklyn, NY)
10.24.09 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY)
9.10.09 MERKIN CONCERT HALL (with Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Shanghai Quartet, and Nauman Lasharie) (New York, NY)
7.23.09 THE JEWISH MUSEUM (New York, NY)
5.4.09 KENNEDY CENTER Millennium Stage (Washington, DC) [watch the performance online!]
4.27.09 CORNELIA STREET CAFE (Greenwich Village, NY)
3.8.09 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY). with special guests Æ
2.28.09 TRIBECA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (New York, NY) – collaboration with Austrian Lightpainter Eva Flatscher
1.8.09 MEHANATA (New York, NY) – double bill with Frank London Band

12.13.08 THE STONE (New York, NY)
9.28.08 JOE’S PUB — CD RELEASE (New York, NY)
8.18.08 UKRAINIAN NATIONAL HOME (Ljova’s 30th birthday celebration, New York NY)
7.11.08 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY)
6.12-6.16.08 WALKERSPACE, Joyce SoHo (collaboration with Freefall Dance)
6.5.08 WORLD YACHT PETRUSHKA ON THE HUDSON (charity benefit, New York NY)
5.18.08 PHILADELPHIA BOOK FESTIVAL (Philadelphia, PA)
5.18.08 ARTS COUNCIL OF PRINCETON (Princeton, NJ)
5.10.08 DROM (East Village, NY)
5.8.08 TRINITY WALL STREET CHURCH (New York, NY)
03.08.08 BARBES (with special guest Rob Kendt)
1.5.08 JOE’S PUB (New York, NY) – double bill with Brooklyn Rider
12.6.07 Ukrainian National Home Restaurant – triple bill with the Luminescent Orchestrii, and the World on a String Band
10.14.07 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY) – double bill with the Parker String Quartet
08.11.07 JOE’S PUB (New York, NY)
08.3.07 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY)
7.26.07 Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Sculpture Garden (New York, NY)
7.12.07 ARIUM(Meatpacking district, NYC)
7.6.07 Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA)
6.1.07 BAMCafe, Brooklyn Academy of Music. Opening musical act of the Sundance Film Festival @BAM
5.31.07 Radio: WNYC’S Soundcheck with John Schaefer – [Recording of the show]
3.8.07 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY)
1.17.07 JOE’S PUB (New York, NY) – double bill with Romashka
8.22.06 BARBES (Brooklyn, NY)
7.12.06 JOE’S PUB (New York, NY) – double bill with the Luminescent String Orchestrii
6.16.06 OM FACTORY (New York, NY) – Kontraband Debut Show!

LJOVA (Lev Zhurbin) - film composer, arranger, violist | music for film, Ljova and the Kontraband, and other projects

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