Guitarist Yitzhak Kleptor, whose membership in the ’70s rock band Kavaret made him one of Israel’s best-loved musicians, died Thursday at the age of 72.
Klepper had been suffering from chronic health problems in recent years as a result of obstructive pulmonary disease.
Born in Haifa in 1950, Kleptor’s musical career spanned some five decades, beginning with high school band The Churchills, considered one of the country’s first rock groups, until May of this year, when he collaborated with singer Tal. Recorded a song from Sondak.
The guitarist was best known for his membership in Kaveret, often referred to as Israel’s Beatles. He joined the group after years as an uncredited session guitarist backing the band during studio recordings.
He later formed the pop-rock band Tuned Tones, and was involved in several collaborations with other prominent artists, as well as a long solo career that included five albums and several hits.
In 2008 the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel honored Kleptor with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
President Isaac Herzog praised Klapter in a tweet, writing, “For many of us he was the landscape of our youth.”
“The King of the Guitar, a gifted musician and writer. His voice and melodies will always be with us,” Herzog wrote.
Culture and Sports Minister Chile Tropper said in a statement that he was “extremely saddened” by Kleptor’s death and described him as “a central part of the Israeli soundtrack”.
“The sounds he produced were tuned directly to the heart of the Israeli people, melodies that would live on long after his demise,” Tropper said in a play on words, “a tuned tone.” ,
Klapter was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2000 which was removed and he recovered, but he struggled with health problems for years after being hospitalized on several occasions.
Miki Gavrielov, who was in The Churchills with Kleppert and has kept in touch, told Channel 13 that the guitarist’s decline and death was “a great shame”.
Losing the ability to play Klepper’s iconic instrument, the guitar, “was hard on him,” he said.