Litvakus is a New York-based klezmer collective spotlighting the Belarusian-Lithuanian Jewish set of repertoires and styles rediscovered and introduced by its artistic director Zisl Slepovitch. From the very outset, Litvakus has been breaking expectations and stereotypes, without much of cross-genre deviations. Litvakus’ approach can be defined as research based modern-shaped performance, or historically informed performance (HIP). The band is characterized by critics as “one of the more unusual bands on the New York klezmer scene” (The Jewish Week); “Forefront of contemporary Jewish music.” (Jewcy/ Tablet), “Acoustic Gogol Bordello” (New York Music Daily).
In its debut album Raysn: The Music of Jewish Belarus (2014). Raysn brought together materials of the 1920’s—30’s field recordings by Sophia Magid, those by Slepovitch and Stepanskaya, Hassidic spiritual tunes (nigguns), Belarusian folk songs, Zisl Slepovitch’s musical and poetic originals, as well as poetry by an eminent poet Moyshe Kulbak,— all under one cover. The band has pushed it as far as to acoustic punk and klezmer-baroque on some tracks, yet solidly threading this seemingly motley set of sources with the clear theme accessible to any audience. Not surprisingly, press called Litvakus “one of the more unusual bands on the New York klezmer scene” (The Jewish Week), ”forefront of contemporary Jewish music” (Jewcy.com), and “acoustic Gogol Bordello” (New York Music Daily). The album got endorsements of the luminaries of contemporary Jewish, jazz, and classical music, such as Evgeny Kissin, John Zorn, Frank London, and many more.
More at http://litvakus.com