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Klezmer meets Bluegrass!
Klezmer clarinetist Margot Leverett joins forces with today's stars of klezmer and bluegrass to explore the shared musical spirit of two genres literally worlds apart. Appalachian and southern fiddle tunes by Bill Monroe meet klezmer melodies from pre-war Russia and Eastern Europe, some newly discovered. The resulting medleys and improvisations are at once raw, funny, soulful and footstomping.
In addition to concerts the band teaches instrumental workshops in bluegrass and klezmer as well as presenting the wealth of stories and demonstrations that link these two kinds of music. The bluegrass/klezmer medleys are great for dancing and a favorite at weddings.
The music of the Klezmer Mountain Boys has been featured in film, theatre and dance, most notably in a piece by the Paul Taylor Dance Company entitled "Klezmerbluegrass". Margot Leverett was a featured guest soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra this year.
Check out our CDs "Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys" and "2nd Avenue Square Dance" on Traditional Crossroads and hear for yourself!
Margot Leverett, (clarinet) is one of the foremost clarinetists of the klezmer revival. Classically trained at Indiana University School of Music, she was involved in avant-garde music when she first heard klezmer, the dynamic East European music traditionally played at Jewish weddings. Leverett was a founding member of the Klezmatics in 1985 before moving on to launch a solo career. Her first CD, "The Art of Klezmer Clarinet," is a tribute to classic Klezmer of the 20's and 30's, and was released in 2001 on Traditional Crossroads (CD4296) to glowing reviews. She tours internationally and has performed and taught traditional and original klezmer music at festivals and workshops around the world.
In addition to founding and directing the Klezmer Mountain Boys, Margot Leverett performs with Udi Bar-David and the artists of Intercultural Journeys, a concert and cultural organization to promote intercultural dialogue. They were featured guest artists with the Philadelphia Orchestra last year www.philorch.org. Margot has toured Japan twice with The New York Ragtime Orchestra and has been featured in several Off-Broadway productions.
Margot Leverett was a staff instructor at KlezKamp for over 10 years and has also taught at KlezKanada, Klezkamp West, Klezmerquerque, and at colleges, music festivals, and Jewish organizations across the country and in Europe.
Marty Confurius (bass) has appeared with virtually all the top people in both bluegrass and klezmer music. His credits include work with Vassar Clements, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Andy Statman, and klezmer legend Dave Tarras.
Joe Selly (guitar) has appeared with Phoebe Snow, Vassar Clements, Barbara Eden, Melissa Manchester and Tex Logan and toured nationally with the Lombardo Orchestra. He is featured on countless recordings and is in demand as both performer and instructor in bluegrass, jazz and swing.
Kenny Kosek (fiddle) has appeared with Jerry Garcia, John Denver, James Taylor, David Byrne, and his own Angelwood bluegrass band. He appears on numerous recordings, and has published dozens of instructional books. He is the bluegrass instructor for Homespun videos and is well known in Bluegrass, Irish, country western, and rock and roll violin.
Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin) joins us when he's not on tour with Hot Tuna. He has played with Tony Trischka and Skyline, John Gorka, Jorma Kaukonen and Hazel Dickens. He has been a featured performer at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, the White House, the Library of Congress, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival as well as bluegrass festivals across the country and Canada.
Photo L-R: Marty Confurius, Kenny Kosek, Barry Mitterhoff, Margot Leverett, Joe Selly.
Photo by Melanie Wellner.