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The families of pianist Josh Harlow and drummer Jonathan Taylor each sing unique melodies at the Passover seder, artifacts of their ancestral villages in modern day Ukraine. Upon discovering this striking similarity, they started exploring these melodies through the lens of Creative Music, arranging them for a rotating cast of collaborators and using those arrangements as launching points for improvisation. Teiku is also archival in its scope, working to document and reframe unique family melodies from the larger Jewish community.
The name Teiku (a yiddish colloquialism which roughly means “unanswered question”) refers to the collective feeling of discovery that improvising musicians know well: creating spontaneous and cohesive sonic environments that are felt viscerally but cannot be expressed with words.