Margot Leverett


Photo: Lloyd Wolf

Photo: Lloyd Wolf

Margot Leverett is one of the foremost clarinetists of the klezmer revival. Classically trained at Indiana University, 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 establish a solo career with her first CD, "The Art of Klezmer Clarinet," a tribute to classic klezmer of the 20's and 30's.


I’m drawn to the unexpected convergences between different kinds of music - the unexpected crossroads between ideas that superficially seem very different - between klezmer and bluegrass, between Arabic and Jewish music, and between people who start out on different paths and suddenly discover one day that they are walking on the same path.

Her current project, "Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys" is an all-star band combining the best of bluegrass and klezmer. Their self-titled CD, released to rave reviews in 2002, was choreographed by the Paul Taylor Dance Company in a new work entitled "Klezmerbluegrass". Their latest release "Second Avenue Square Dance" features guest artists Jorma Kaukonen and Hazel Dickens and is available now from Traditional Crossroads.


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 Europe.