Ljova and the Kontraband / Jofre Romarion New Tango Quartet
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 acclaimed debut CD, "Mnemosyne", was released in September 2008.
LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND
Inna Barmash, vocals
Patrick Farrell, accordion
Mike Savino, bass
Mathias Kunzli, percussion
------------------------Winner of Argentina's National Prize of the Arts Grant (Premio Fondo Naciónal de las Artes). Since Jofre Romarion arrived in New York from Argentina, the bandoneónista has taken his form of contemporary tango to some of the city’s most important venues such as Jazz Standard, City Center, and the New Jersey PAC. Jofre was asked to take part in Rosie O’ Donnell Live (NBC) sharing the stage with world-renowned stars such as Liza Minelli, Alanis Morissette, Gloria Estefan, The Lombard Twins. Jofre is currently writing music for his Jofre Romarion New Tango Quartet, performing the Astor Piazzolla's Concerto with symphonic orchestras all over the world and is member of the Fernando Otero Quartet, the Paquito D' Rivera Jazz Band, the Eternal Tango Orchestra, Tango Connection, Octavio Brunetti Quintet and other ensembles.
Jofre began his musical studies at the National University of San Juan Argentina, where he studied piano, composition, before eventually deciding to dedicate himself to the bandoneón in 1999. In 2003, Juan Pablo gave his first performance at the 1st International Festival of Chamber Music in Mendoza, playing Bach solos and Piazzolla solos for bandoneon. In 2004 Jofre received a grant from San Juan Mar del Plata SA and Auditorium Juan Victoria to study under bandoneón master Daniel Binelli and Julio Pane in Buenos Aires. Binelli writes of Juan Pablo, “(he is a) incredible musician, blessed with excellent skills to play the bandoneón.”
JOFRE ROMARION NEW TANGO QUARTET
Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion, bandoneon
Octavio Brunetti, piano
Nick Danielson, violin
Pablo Aslan, bass