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Ljova and The Kontraband Kick Off Rite of Summer Music Festival at Governors Island, 7/7

Ljova and The Kontraband Kick Off Rite of Summer Music Festival at Governors Island, 7/7

Pianists and Artistic Directors Blair McMillen and Pam Goldberg present the Rite of Summer Music Festival, taking place Summer 2012 on Governors Island, New York City. This marks the return of the first classical-contemporary concert series on Governors Island. The aim of the Festival is simple: to present the highest quality live performances, and to bring free contemporary classical music to as many people as possible in a relaxed, fun, outdoor setting.

This summer’s kick-off concerts at Fort Jay feature gypsy-folk inspired chamber group Ljova and The Kontraband in a program of original compositions deeply rooted in classical forms, imbued with improvisations on Eastern-European and Gypsy melodies, and Latin rhythms; selected folk material, as well as compositions by Igor Stravinsky, John Jacob Niles & others on Saturday, July 7th. Performers are: Ljova, viola and fadolin; Inna Barmash, vocals; Patrick Farrell, accordion; Mike Savino, bass and banjo with special guest: Satoshi Takeishi, percussion.

The second concerts taking place on Saturday, August 4th on Colonels Row feature the high-octane JACK Quartet with works by Guillaume de Machaut arr. by Ari Streisfeld, Charles Ives, Brian Baumbush, Ken Thomson, Payton MacDonald and David Crowell.

Next up in the same location, the final concerts take place Labor Day weekend on Monday, September 3rd. These concerts will feature violinist/composer Todd Reynolds with guests, Jordan Tice on guitar, Jonny Rodgers on glass and more to come in a program of American folk music.

Each Rite of Summer show will be presented twice the same day, at 1pm and 3pm, for each respective **date. Audiences should feel free to walk by, stop and listen, lay down a picnic blanket and relax, eat lunch, intermingle, and take in these exciting live performances.

Governors Island is a short 5-minute ferry ride from South Ferry, in lower Manhattan and a 3-minute ride from Brooklyn. Ferries and concerts are free. For a full ferry schedule, visit www.govisland.com. And for more information, visit www.riteofsummer.com.

**Rain dates/times for each scheduled concert will be as follows, at 1pm and 3pm:

Ljova and The Kontraband July 8, 2012
The JACK Quartet August 5, 2012
Todd Reynolds September 9, 2012

LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND is a chamber folk ensemble based in New York featuring the composer and violist Ljova ("one of New York's fastest rising composers and instrumentalists" –Billboard) and his close collaborators on vocals, accordion, bass, and percussion. 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. Inspired by Ljova's collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Osvaldo Golijov, the Kronos Quartet, the rapper Jay-Z and many independent filmmakers, Ljova's compositions dazzle with intricate textures, odd rhythms and lilting melodies, creating music that is both fresh and timeless.

Personnel: Ljova, viola and famiola (6-string viola); Inna Barmash, vocals; Patrick Farrell, accordion; Mike Savino, bass & banjo; Mathias Kunzli, percussion.

For more information, visit Ljova's website at www.Ljova.com.

Photo credit: Anna Rozenblat

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