Michael Alpert

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Michael Alpert (born 1954, Los Angeles, USA) is a klezmer and Yiddish singer, multi-instrumentalist, scholar and educator and has been called a key figure[1] in the klezmer revival of the 1970s and 1980s.[2] He has played in a number of groups since that time, including An-Sky Ensemble,[3] Brave Old World, Khevrisa, Kapelye, The Brothers Nazaroff and Voices of Ashkenaz, as well as with clarinetist David Krakauer, hip-hop artist Socalled and bandurist Julian Kytasty. Alpert is also a noted teacher and researcher of Yiddish traditional dance and has worked to see dance retake its traditional place in connection with klezmer music.[4] He is a recipient of the 2015 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts.[5] Alpert has continued to perform through 2017.[6]

Alpert has travelled throughout Eastern Europe and the Americas to document Jewish traditional musicians and singers, and published an article in American Klezmer: Its Roots and Offshoots about Warsaw-born klezmer drummer Ben Bazyler (1922-1990). (readable here on Google Books) He can largely be credited with initiating the revival of rhythmic and harmonic "sekund" fiddling in klezmer music, an important aspect of traditional klezmer string technique which had fallen out of use before the klezmer revitalization.[7]

He was also musical director of the PBS special Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House.


  1. ^ Slobin, Mark (2000). Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World. American Musicspheres. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0195131246.
  2. ^ "Brave Old World: Home of the Braves". Archived from the original on 2011-01-07. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  3. ^ "The An-Sky Ensemble". Center for Traditional Music and Dance. 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  4. ^ Gelfand, Alexander (February 20, 2008). "Symposium Seeks To Save Yiddish Dance". forward.com. The Forward Association. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  5. ^ "NEA National Heritage Fellowships 2015". www.arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  6. ^ "July 8 [2017]: Fiddle Tunes Finale". Centrum. July 5, 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  7. ^ Cohen, Bob (2009). "Jewish Fiddle". www.dinayekapelye.com. Retrieved 16 October 2017.

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