Sometime around the turn of the century, my family and I were in London for a Jewish music conference. We managed to convince the kids to come with us to a concert at the Barbican. I no longer remember who the headliner was, because the kids (not fans of Jewish music, and especially not fans of klezmer) were blown away by a duo from Argentina playing in the outer hall prior to the event.

Lerner and Moguilevsky claimed to be playing klezmer and jazz, but those melodies and styles were a mere springboard to wild, fervent improvisational universal music of wonder. More than anything, there was this passionate, transcendent music that involved each part of their bodies, keyboards, percussion, clarinet and flute, scat and motion, all in service of creating an overall sense of wonder and amazing music. This is the sort of duo for whom the word “awesome,” in its original meaning of inspiring wonder, was coined.

Some of that wonder comes from their ability. Both are virtuosos. Moguilevsky, the clarinet player, has a tonal palette and skill that has to be heard to be believed. Lerner, the piano/accordion/percussion player, has a sense of rhythm and a willingness to pull in almost anything to create the sounds that are needed to work with the woodwinds.


Happily, I’ve seen them regularly throughout the years in three countries and two continents (so far). I’ve dragged many friends, all of whom now regularly check their local calendars for opportunities to see the duo again. As a friend wrote a few years ago, this is “not virtuosity for virtuosity’s sake—it [i]s nothing but passionate, thoughtful and rocking music.”

The duo only seems to have gotten better and surer over the years. (How?!) I am so thrilled that they are back in Boston. The only real question is whether I want to see them just once this week, or as often as my schedule permits.

Ari Davidow is a Jewish music expert and founder of the KlezmerShack, one of the oldest websites focusing on Jewish music.

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