New York Belarusian Jewish roots / HIP / new / acoustic punk klezmer band
Litvakus, described by critics as an “acoustic Gogol Bordello” and led by the clarinetist, vocalist, and composer Zisl Slepovitch, is a unique klezmer collective, and the first to focus exclusively on the music and culture of Belarus. The Litvakus repertoire is a mix of traditional Belarusian and Litvak (Belarusian Jewish) folk music, as well as contemporary pieces written in the spirit of roots music.
Litvakus first performed as the critically acclaimed stage band from the National Yiddish Theatre’s production of Gimpel Tam, in the fall of 2008, having continued performing together for several years under the name “Tamevate Kapelye.” The musicians’ theater and film backgrounds are bringing the band on the path of the modern ethnographic music theater, with the documentary footage, traditional and originally composed music becoming part of the storytelling.
Songlines magazine (UK) reviews Litvakus’ album Raysn: