The Cross-Culture Jazz Vocalist and Music Scholar Judy Alpert
Born in Hungary, Judy Alpert moved to the U.S. with her parents during the Hungarian revolution in 1956 when she was 10 years old. She started learning music early in Hungary with the Kodaly method, named after Zoltan Kodaly, the Hungarian composer and music educator. Judy Alpert is a jazz vocalist, pianist, and song stylist, as well as a university professor and music scholar with a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Texas in Austin.
Memories of her childhood in Hungary, especially the many Hungarian songs that she used to listen to on the radio, were the inspiration for Judy Alpert’s latest CD, titled A Single Violet, which is also the name of the last song she heard on the radio before her family’s escape from Hungary. The CD includes many Hungarian songs with her own English translation and sung in both languages. Her unique interpretation and rendition of American jazz and Hungarian songs clearly reflects her cross-cultural music training and experience.
Influenced also by her Jewish background, her music often features Yiddish tunes, a meaningful contribution to the repertoire of her native country’s popular songs. Judy Alpert has returned to Hungary several times and was the guest star at the Budapest Jewish Festival in 2002, performing her version of A Single Violet. She plays an active role in her Jewish community, having produced and performed Jewish music at the Dell Jewish Community Campus many times.
As a music scholar, Judy Alpert has published music research work on the effect of music on emotions. Her findings have been included in textbooks and cited in other scholarly papers. An recognized authority in her music field, she serves as a music specialist with the Austin Independent School District. As an Austin musician, Judy Alpert is deeply involved in the Austin music scene. She signs at various venues in Austin, including community centers, clubs, cultural festivals, and other benefits events.