March 6th, 2022 7pm Stage 2
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Litvakus is a klezmer collective led by the internationally renowned clarinetist, vocalist, composer, and scholar D. Zisl Slepovitch, a native of Belarus, and the first to focus exclusively on the music and culture of Belarus and Litvak Jews.
The Litvakus repertoire presents a unique mix of traditional Belarusian and Litvak (North-East European Jewish) folk music, as well as contemporary pieces written in the spirit of roots music. In their various programs, Litvakus have collaborated and recorded with Michael Alpert, Sasha Lurje, and Daniella Rabbani, among others. Zisl Slepovitch’s ethnographic multimedia program Traveling the Yiddishland is a touring production of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, where the founding band members first met in 2008. As a contemporary klezmer band, the way Litvakus sounds unexpected; but it also overpowers by the warmth of the deeply rooted tradition. Bagpipe-like drones, drones on the fiddle and bass, “shtetl disco” groove, both authentic and vibrantly modern, come to life with old and forgotten tunes and free improvisational takes on them.