Yossi Green was raised in a Satmar Hasidic family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. Although his parents did not allow musical instruments in the house, his mother developed his taste for music by listening to records. He taught himself how to play music on a friend’s melodica.Read More
While studying at the Manchester Yeshivah in 1973, Green began to write his own songs. During this time he heard Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly with His Song" playing from a passing car, and it inspired him to write his own version of soul music, "Kol Berama", which was featured on a Pirchei London album under the direction of Yigal Calek and became an international hit.
Green has composed over 700 melodies in the genres of contemporary Jewish religious music, pop music, classical music, Hasidic music, and show tunes. He draws most of his lyrics from primary Jewish texts, including Torah, Talmud, and Midrash. He also finds lyrics in liturgical and personal prayers, Shabbat zemirot, and biographies of famous rabbis.
His major hits are "Kol Berama" ("A Voice in Ramah"; text from Jeremiah 31:14-15), "Tanya" ("We learned"; text from Berakhot 7a), "Aderaba", "Daagah Mi-nayin", "Didoh Bei" ("If You Have Knowledge"; text from Nedarim 41a), "Shomati", "Ve'erastich", and "Anovim".
Green composes songs for the superstars of the Orthodox Jewish music world, including Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, Yaakov Shwekey, Lipa Schmeltzer, Shloime Gertner, Ohad Moskowitz, and Dedi Graucher. His first collaboration with Fried took place when the latter was 19; they have since collaborated on eight albums.
His compositions have also been performed by Cantors Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Benzion Miller, Israel Rand, Naftali Hershtik, and Yakov Motzen. His Hasidic music has been performed by Abish Brodt, Isaac Honig, Dov Hoffman, and Lipa Shmeltzer. Green's music for youth choirs has been performed by the London School of Jewish Song, Jerusalem Boys Choir, Toronto Boys Choir, Jewish Education Program, New York School of Jewish Song, and Zlil VeZemer. His group music has been performed by Kol Achai, Lev Tahor, Kol Chaverim, and Ruach.