Musician Yosi Piamenta, one of the most beloved and veteran voices in the Jewish music scene, passed away on Sunday, Elul 8, 5775.
He was 64 and suffered from a terrible illness in the past year.
An Orthodox Jewish singer-songwriter and guitarist, known for introducing the electric guitar to Jewish music, Piamenta played rock and roll tunes, often infused with heavy rock licks and extended guitar solos all while dressed in Jewish Orthodox religious clothing and singing Biblical Hebrew lyrics.
Piamenta has been widely acknowledged by rock critics as a guitar virtuoso.
In addition to being an original songwriter, Piamenta covered others’ music in the religious Jewish music category his album Songs of the Rebbes includes various Lubavitch, Belz and Sephardi nigunim and Zemirot as well as secular American music.
Piamenta was born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1951 to Yehuda and Genia Piamenta. In 1962, when he was 12 years old, Piamenta moved with his family to Tel Aviv, Israel.
There, he received his first guitar from his uncle, Albert Piamenta, an Israeli saxophonist. Growing up, he practiced traditional Judaism.
In his 20s, Piamenta moved to New York, together with his brother, Avi Piamenta, with the intention of working on a joint album with American saxophone player Stan Getz.
The album was a success but Piamenta disapproved of the entertainment industry lifestyle and turned to religion, joining the Orthodox Jewish community.
Piamenta lived in Flatbush, New York, for over 20 years before moving back to Israel.
In August 2014, Piamenta together with Avi Piamenta and Naftali Kalfa released a single, “Yaancha,” calling it a “prayer for Piamenta’s recovery.”
On April 14, 2015, Piamenta’s Facebook page disclosed that “Yosi is not doing well” and asked fans to “Please pray your hearts out.” On April 17, 2015 Piamenta fell into a coma; he woke up from the coma two days later.
In August of 2015 the Piamenta’s condition took a turn for the worse.
He passed away on Sunday in Israel.
Baruch Dayan Haemes.