Yehuda Ceitlin of COLlive reports: Yossi Piamenta is saying goodbye to the land of the free, as he swaps a home in Flatbush, Brooklyn, for a beach-front house in Israel’s Tel Aviv. In an interview last week, Piamenta stressed that aside from loving his native country, the move was to assist his elderly father. “He’s 84 and can’t walk anymore,” he said. Piamenta lived in New York for some 32 years and it was from there that he traveled for concerts worldwide.
But as he attests, “my home was always in Israel. I only rented in New York and lived out of my suitcase. And from now on, whatever I do, will be as an Israeli.”
The guitarist concluded his years in the U.S. in a Farewell Concert on July 5th in Manhattan.
“The numerical value of 32 is lev, heart,” Piamenta said. “I gave my heart to America and I benefitted a lot.”
Moving to the States with his brother Avi Piamenta, a flutist, influenced both their lives in two ways – spiritually and musically.
“I am a different person from the one who came to America because of the Rebbe. He’s the guy who influenced me most, most, most. He guided me.”
Until then, the Piamentas had been cooking up a tasty sonic stew of Jewish Middle Eastern rock ‘n roll fusion, unlike anything served up in Jewish music circles before.
“I wasn’t frum in Israel,” he says. “Here, I got to know what golus is and started keeping Shabbos. Today I can’t imagine myself in my old kind of life. Maybe I needed 32 years to understand that.”
He knows there won’t be a minyan waiting for him at Hayarkon-Frishman, Israel’s Riviera. “Maybe I will make a little change in Tel Aviv,” he muses.
The future looks positive for the talented veteran musician. A gig is already booked in Yerushalayim for after Tisha B’Av and a few simchas in the U.S.
Will he be back for the annual Simchas Bais Hashoeiva in Crown Heights?
“My brother Avi comes in special for that. Maybe I’ll come too. If they want me enough…”
To watch a video of Yossi performing with his brother Avi at the HASC concert, click below:
[media id=109 width=400 height=300]