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Ljova and the Kontraband

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LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND (formerly Ljova & the Vjola Contraband) — 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 at the Om Factory Yoga Studio in June 2006, the ensemble has performed at venues such as the New York’s Museum of Modern Art, 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.

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