There has been a huge influx in people interested in the music of Moshe Yess OBM. One can find numerous covers of his songs on YouTube and other sites across the web. We invite you to post your own version of any of your favourite Moshe Yess or Megama songs for the world to hear and we will publish it to the Moshe Yess Website under the Live Tributes page. It can also be a song that you wrote in his memory.
This will give the people who are unfamiliar with the music of Moshe Yess and the Megama Duo a chance to appreciate the music in your own way. Every Month we will announce the winner for that month on the Moshe Yess Facebook Page. The winner will be awarded with some previously undistributed tracks or albums from our vault. We look forward to hearing your interpretation of his music. The only rule is to please keep the lyrics the same as the original versions. If you want to mix up the genre and add a twist of your own, you have our blessing.
Good luck and thanks for being a great Moshe Yess fan!
Click Here for a little treat from the Megama Duo Days, Enjoy!
The Timeless Music of Moshe Yess Recreated, Refreshed & Reimagined for a New Generation of Fans
Recorded Jewish music can be divided into two categories
The Timeless—projects that endure because the tap into an emotion and/or define a particular style or artist…eg works by Yossele Rosenblatt, Diaspora Yeshiva Band, Mordechai Ben David’s Hineini (and according to many I’d Rather Pray Than Sing), most anything by Reb Shlomo, early D’Veykus, etc
The Timely—projects that connect because they’re the “best in class” in terms of capturing what’s ‘hot” music, song and style wise…while their hits may endure a wedding season or two…”Timely” Jewish music is a bit more of a revolving door.
Every so often Jewish music fans are graced with an artist/album that achieves both…creating songs that become a permanent part of our DNA for generations while at the same time achieving a level of popularity that’s measured in terms of countries and continents…not just local communities.
When describing the music of Moshe Yess the preceding becomes almost an understatement. Despite the fact Yess’s music came onto the collective consciousness in the pre email/Facebook/social everything era of the late 70’s and early 80’s, the plaintive yet powerful messages of songs like Jack Schwartz, “G-d Is Alive & Well In Jerusalem” and of course “My Zaidy” resonated with listeners throughout the world…and more importantly, still do today. Small wonder that world class performers like Abie Rottenberg, Yossie Green & 8th Day cite Yess as a major influence
What made the Yess/Megama (the duet he formed with cellist Shalom Levine) dynamic even more impressive was the simplicity of their sound. They debuted at the peak of the “disco” era—when pulsating rhythms and massive horn, synth & string sections came “standard” with any album. Despite this, Yess’s decidedly “minimalist yet musical’ sound and “wise yet whimsical” made an immediate connection with listeners. As Yess was a true artist, he dedicated himself to creating new material rather than preserving his music for future generations, because of this much of his work disappeared in a commercial sense…a situation that’s about to be rectified thanks to the talents—and dedication of Gershon Veroba & Yerachmiel Zeigler…the producers behind the Yess Legacy.
SAMEACH MUSIC PRESENTS THE YESS LEGACY 30 SUPER TRACKS PERFORMED BY 18 SUPERSTARS—YESS AT HIS BEST FOR A NEW GENERATION
When Veroba & Zeigler were assembling the talent roster for TYL—the long waited tribute album to the music of Moshe Yess, they realized that it wasn’t about finding singers or even performers as much as it was finding “the Moshe Yess’s of today”.
Once they matched up this roster with the right songs (and schedules), the next step was deconstructing then reconstructing Yess’s music so it would keep its honesty and soul while still appealing to a generation that was at best peripherally aware of him.
The results are every bit as mind blowing today as they were in their original incarnation over a generation ago.
Veroba—a stellar performer/composer/producer in his own right, used his encyclopedic knowledge of musical genres as well as his understanding of what drives fellow artists, to create a sound that doesn’t simply do justice to Yess’s works, but actually refreshes them for a new generation of fans. Think of a craftsman updating a 200 year old landmark home for 2013 –yet doing so without changing the core layout or charm and you begin the understand the level of his achievement. Despite the updated sound, every song stays unwaveringly true to the DNA of the originals. Yess fans will be transported to the times in their lives when they first heard these classics, while ‘newbies’ will be captivated by the sophisticated simplicity of both music and message.
Even in an age of reduced attention spans, sound bites and video clips…the “stop and ask yourself what are we here for?” message that is central to many of Yess’s tunes, is even more relevant today. Because of this, Veroba was able to assemble a decidedly eclectic A-list of performers to take part in the project including Abie Rotenberg, Rivie Schwebel, Yossi Green, Avraham Rosenblum, Rabbi Baruch Chait, Benny Friedman, Shlomo Katz, Soulfarm, Lenny Solomon, Nochi Krohn, Moshe Hecht, Aryeh Kunstler, Marc Levine, Sam Glaser, Zevi Kaufman, Country Yossi, Menachem Weinstein Yosi Piamenta, Avraham Rosenblum, C Lanzbom, Andy Statman, Yaron Gershovsky, Gal Gershovsky, Moshe Antelis, Tony Montalbo, Aryeh Kunstler, Nochi Krohn and others. Shalom Levine, Yess’s partner in Megama was even brought out of retirement for a cameo—an appearance made even more special because it took place just weeks before Levine’s untimely passing.
Despite the incredible level of material, talent and production this 30 song, double CD set will retail for the single CD price of just $15.99. “Moshe’s music connected with people because it was about people—the concepts aren’t about the lofty as much as they’re about the human condition. Recreating and respecting that without recognizing the need to also make sure it’s as accessible as possible to as many fans as possible, would be a disservice to the very soul of Yess Legacy” said Veroba
To own your piece of timeless history in the making, run don’t run to your nearest music outlet/website for your copy of the Yess Legacy.
Moshe Aaron (Morris Arthur) Yess (1945–January 8, 2011) O.B.M. was a world renowned Orthodox Jewish musician, composer and entertainer from Montreal, Canada. A member of the Chabad community in Montreal, Yess was a regular performer at Chabad House events and shows, together with international Jewish music festivals, Chabad Telethons and the annual A Time for Music concert.
In the 1960s, Yess shared stages with David Crosby, Jefferson Airplane & The Association. As a solo performer he played Las Vegas, Reno, and other hot spots. In 1978 he moved from Hollywood, California to Jerusalem, Israel, where he enrolled in D'var Yerushalayim Yeshiva. There he met Rabbi Shalom Levine, who became his mentor in Halacha and his musical partner in Megama. They spoke about harnessing American-style music to communicate the beauty and values of Judaism. Thus was Megama (Hebrew for "direction") born.
One of Yess's biggest hit songs was "My Zaidy," in which the speaker remembers his grandfather, who was his last link to Judaism. "My Zaidy" -- "zaidy" is the Yiddish word for grandpa -- touched several generations of American and Canadian Jews. Other hits by Megama included "Ain't Gonna Work on Saturday" and "Not Ashamed," and one of their successful children's shows was called "Judeo Rodeo."
Yess collaborated with Abie Rotenberg to produce the children's audio series called The Marvelous Midos Machine composed of three volumes, with all original material.
In the 1990s, Yess started a rock band called Burnt Offering with the blessing of The Lubavitcher Rebbe. The band's mission was to spread the message to the world to engage in acts of goodness and kindness.
Yess retired from music in his later years when his health began to decline.
Moshe Yess died of cancer on January 8, 2011, in Cottonwood, Arizona. He was 65 years old.
Download some of his greatest albums ever recorded on this site for only $10
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our good friend Rabbi Shalom Levine a”h better known as the surviving half of the duo known as MEGAMA—his partner, Moshe Yess was Niftar about two years ago. As thousands of fans worldwide will attest, the signature chemistry that defined Shalom and Moshe can only be expressed as magic.
The two met in Yeshiva D’var Yerushalayim in Israel where Levine—a classically trained viola player, became Yess’s mentor in halacha and eventually his musical partner in the groundbreaking group Megama. Their vision was to communicate the beauty and timeless values of Judaism with a musical style that was a blend of decidedly contemporary Amercian idioms including folk, R&B, Blues & Rock.
Because this was decades before promotional/marketing ‘tools” like email, viral videos, social media etc Yess & Levine had to rely on something way more visceral to get their ‘brand’ out there… their talent. Their easygoing performance style and warm friendly charm translated well on stage and resulted in over 3 1/2 years of almost constant touring & recording. One whirlwind tour included 32 shows in 29 cities in 42 days. Shalom told us in an interview just two weeks ago that what made Megama the success it was, was the amazing degree of synchronicity these two stellar talents shared. Yess used to compose the songs himself without Shalom. He then brought the song to Shalom and played it for him. Shalom would listen intently then play it back to Moshe on his viola usually with one or two changes or tweaks, to which Moshe replied PERFECT!
Gershon Veroba posted on Facebook “ I was so lucky to have known Shalom in my lifetime and I’m devastated that our reunion was cut so short. We spent time together in the studio just 3 weeks ago for the upcoming YESS TRIBUTE Double-Album and I’m glad he had a chance to hear it and perform on it. A great musician, a greater man…I’ll miss him.” While Levine is unfortunately gone, his music will live on thanks to the aforementioned Tribute album which brought the much sought after Levine out of “retirement” to record a performance in memory of his student, partner and friend May his Neshama have an a Aliyah and may we be Zoche to the coming of Moshiach –-accompanied by the music and founders of MEGAMA.
In the video below The Megama Duo explore Jewish music as they journey through the ages during a show in the 80′s