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Inna's Projects

Yiddish Lullabies & Love Songs

Link to Project Page

Inna's newest project explores Yiddish songs - twinkling lullabies and earnest songs of love and love gone wrong. Raw, beautiful and elegant in their simplicity, many of the songs are rarely heard treasures of old Soviet era anthologies of songs collected in the shtetls of Ukraine in the 1920s. Inna first started singing in Yiddish back in her home city of Vilnius, Lithuania as a child in the late 80s.  Joining Inna on stage and in the recording studio are Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin (viola/fadolin), Shoko Nagai (piano/accordion), Dmitry 'Zisl' Slepovitch (clarinet) and Dmitry Ishenko (bass). This group has recorded a debut recording, released in November 2013. The recording was made possible through a grant by the BluePrint Fellowship project of COJECO, funded by the UJA-Federation of New York and Genesis Philanthropy Group.  

Ljova & the Kontraband

If genre-defying music was a genre, Ljova and the Kontraband would probably defy that too. For if bringing together influences from classical, klezmer, tango, jazz and Gypsy music has been done before, nobody does it quite like this. Moscow-born, New York-based film composer, arranger and violist Lev 'Llova' Zhurbin writes and plays music that evokes forgotten memories of things you think you've heard before but haven't, while dreaming of Bartok and Piazzolla trundling through an early-morning Hungarian mist in a three-legged race to the village dance at the end of time. High-quality musicianship this entertaining is a joy to experience and when singer Inna Barmash emotes the full weight of a klezmer ballad with her silkily crystalline voice all available heart-strings will be tugged. Here today, going somewhere else tomorrow. 



BARMALJOVA is the lovechild of the vocalist Inna Barmash and violist/composer/arranger Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin... Ljova frequently performs with his ensemble Ljova and The Kontraband (in which Inna sings), and works on a multitude of musical projects, often involving film, orchestra, and dance. Inna leads the New York-based Gypsy band Romaska (in which Ljova also plays), and together they stroll and frolic through life, singing songs wherever they go.



 Romashka is a dance party band in New York City's burgeoning gypsy and balkan music scene, playing gypsy and folk music from Russia, Romania, the Balkans, and beyond. Lithuanian-born singer Inna Barmash fronts a band nine wildly versatile NY musicians, denizens of fertile downtown grounds. At full blast, Romashka has a violin, viola, accordion, guitar, trumpet, clarinet/saxophone, tuba, and percussion.



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Zing Along Shabes


Zing Along Shabes is a companion musical recording to the Zing Along Shabes project, a set of materials to help families foster traditions around celebrating Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.

The project consists of a website and printable booklet that include artwork by Irina Sheynfeld, a toolkit of materials for educators and parents, and musical recordings of songs, prayers and nigns for Shabbat (featuring the voices of Cantors Natasha Hirschhorn and Maria Dubinsky, the folk singer Inna Barmash, clarinetist Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch, violist Ljova Zhurbin, accordionist Patrick Farrell, bassist Mitya Ishenko, and a choir of 12 kids from the NYC Russian-Jewish community).

The project was made possible through a grant by the BluePrint Alumni Fellowship project of COJECO, funded by the UJA-Federation of New York and Genesis Philanthropy Group.



Special Projects


Ljova's song cycle "Songs of Bert Meyers," commissioned by the Art of Élan, chamber music series based in San Diego, CA.  Listen to premiere performance here:


"The First Rite", Ljova's re-interpretation of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, with a band of improvising musicians (“The Riotous Band”) through the folk songs that Stravinsky chose as his source material.  Commissioned by the Rite of Summer festival on Governors Island. More info and excerpts from the premiere performance here:


Berio's song cycle "Folk Songs", performed by Inna at the San Diego Museum of Art with the Art of Elan chamber music series.  Listen to the live performance here:


Songs of Minsk Yiddish Poets - Inna is working on a new program to complement Prof. Elissa Bemporad's award-winning book "Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk." Inna presented this program in conjunction with lectures by Prof. Bemporad at the JCC in Manhattan and the Sholem-Aleychem Center in the Bronx.  Listen to Inna's recording of "Shterndl Shterndl" by Moishe Kulbak.


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