I’ve been fortunate to see this group twice- once at Lincoln Center (waited in line on a cold evening) and again at a local theater on here Long Island. All I can say is that Ljova and the Kontaband are pure energy and creativity. The pure genius of violist/composer Ljova cannot hide as he expresses himself though different time signatures and haunting melodies which are not easily forgotten. But who would want to? It is the personality of this ‘new music’ with roots in the old that makes it so exciting. The facial expressions of the upright bassist demonstrate the emotion he feels as he instinctively knows when to be heard upfront, to be a backdrop, or a strong creative support to the others. I cannot say enough about their percussionist Mathias Kunzli . Every time I have seen him perform it is like the first. He has so many methods of both making and enhancing rhythm. NEVER a dull moment. I love Inna’s deep vocals as she ‘plays’ with the band. Entices and releases...her vocals are a balance, never taking anything away from the strong instrumentals of this group. She is brilliant. And this band really demonstrates just how underrated the accordion is. I never thought such sounds would come from this instrument. For me Ljova and the Kontraband ~well all I can say in summary is that they are a total, fresh experience. I’ll be there.
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