By Yehuda Ceitlin, COLlive Editor
Moshe Yess, a beloved performer and musician who has entertained audiences around the world, passed away Motzoei Shabbos, considered Shvat 4, 5771.
He was 65 and suffered from ‘yene machla.’
He was hospitalized earlier this year at University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson, Arizona, and was visited by local Chabad Shluchim, before he underwent recovery treatment.
Yess, known for the song ‘Zaide Made us Laugh,’ lived in Montreal, Canada, for many years after he became a Baal Teshuva and made a living singing and teaching.
He was a member of the Chabad community there and was a regular performer at Chabad House events and shows along with general music festivals and the annual HASC concert.
In addition to performing, Yess produced with Abie Rotenberg animated music videos for children at a time when few were available. Among them were Roburg, Middos Machine and Amazing Torah Bike (they are available for purchase at MostlyMusic.com)
“We used to sing and compose in the early days, but it was Moshe Yess who taught us how to do it professionally,” known composer Yossi Green of New York told COLlive.com in a recent interview.
In fact, a group on Facebook crowned him “the Real King of Jewish Music” noting that “we all know deep down in our hearts that the only truly good Jewish music is the music of Moshe Yess.” The group has 40 members.
VIDEO: “Zaidy” by Moshe Yess
He retired from his music career in recent years.
“He was a Jewish music legend that will live on through his amazing work and inspiration,” said California based entertainer and actor Mendy Pellin, who tried in 2007 to convince Yess to hold a tribute to his career but was unsuccessful.
“He had a unique personality of being very funny, yet very intense,” Pellin told COLlive.com. “He was the same person on stage, in conversation, in private and public. People thought he lost it the last 10 years, but that was part of his journey wanting to be 100% living the truth.”
The Yess family told COLlive.com that their father is being flown from Phoenix to Montreal, but is being delayed due to bad weather in Atlanta.
They said there is not expected to be a levaya and will be just heading to burial in the local Jewish cemetery.
Yess is survived by his children Ze’ev Yess, Naftali Yess, Rivkah Yess, Devorah Smajar, Shoshana Shaffer and Yossi Yess, all live in Montreal.
They can be reached at [email protected]
Baruch Dayan Haemes.