has been a pioneering and innovative figure in the renaissance of East European Jewish klezmer music and Yiddish culture for over 30 years. He is internationally known for his award-winning performances and recordings with Brave Old World, Khevrisa, Kapelye, David Krakauer, Itzhak Perlman, Theodore Bikel, German Goldenshteyn and salsa legend Larry Harlow. A native Yiddish speaker, he is considered the finest traditional Yiddish singer of his generation and is noted for his original Yiddish songs. Alpert was Musical Director of the Emmy/Rose D’Or-winning PBS special "Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House," and the subsequent CDs and concert tours. He appears in numerous feature and documentary films, and in broadcast media worldwide.
An important link to Old World Jewish musicians, Alpert was a research associate at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and has extensively documented Jewish music and dance throughout the globe. A leading teacher and scholar of Ashkenazic traditional dance, his workshops in the Yiddish cultural arts have played a central role in the transmission of Yiddish music and dance to his own and subsequent generations. Alpert’s ethnographic work has focused on Jewish traditions from the USSR and Former Soviet Union, and he is translator/co-editor of Jewish Instrumental Folk Music (Syracuse University Press, 2001), the pioneering 1938 work by Soviet ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski. Longtime co-Artistic Director of KlezKanada, he is Senior Research Fellow at NYC’s Center for Traditional Music and Dance, and has taught and lectured at Oxford University, Columbia University, Yale University, and the New England Conservatory of Music.
Michael says: "I don't actually smoke, but at the time of this photo was connecting with my Polish friends via Yiddish folksong and sharing a pipe."