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LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND -- is chamber-jam music for the "remix generation". As if by alchemy, Eastern-European and Gypsy melodies, Latin rhythms, Jazz-inspired improvisations, and deeply rooted Classical forms are given new meanings in original compositions that fearlessly forge a new direction, with a nostalgic gaze towards the past.
Since making its debut in June 2006, the ensemble has performed at venues such as New York's Museum of Modern Art, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 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 legendary venue Joe's Pub, and the Brooklyn-based club, Barbes.
Founded by the maverick film composer, arranger, and violist Lev 'LJOVA' Zhurbin --- hailed by Billboard magazine as "one of New York's fastest rising composers and instrumentalists" -- the ensemble also features his close collaborators on vocals, accordion, bass and percussion. Inspired by his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Osvaldo Golijov, the Kronos Quartet, the rapper Jay-Z and others, Ljova's compositions dazzle with intricate textures, odd rhythms and lilting melodies, creating music that is both fresh and timeless. The Kontraband's debut CD, "MNEMOSYNE", featuring special guests Frank London, William Schimmel, Uli Geissendoerfer, Alon Yavnai and Marcus Rojas, was released on September 28, 2008. For booking inquiries, please contact booking@Ljova.com.