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Fri, Jun 16


Merrimans' Playhouse


Teiku reframes unique family melodies from the larger Jewish community, creating spontaneous and cohesive sonic environments that are felt viscerally but cannot be expressed with words.

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Time & Location

Jun 16, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student. End time is estimate.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust, The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, and the Arts Project Support Grant and Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.


Josh Harlow - piano

Jonathan Barahal Taylor - drums and percussion

Rafael Leafar - assorted saxophones, bass clarinet, and bass flute

Jaribu Shahid - bass

The families of pianist Josh Harlow and drummer Jonathan Barahal Taylor each sing unique melodies at the Passover seder, artifacts of their ancestral villages in modern day Ukraine. Upon realizing this striking similarity in their family histories, Josh and Jonathan started exploring their ancestral melodies through the lens of Creative Music ("jazz"), arranging them for collaborators and using those arrangements as launching points for improvisation. Teiku has since expanded to include arrangements of unique and rare melodies from the larger Jewish community.

The name Teiku (a Talmudic acronym 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. Taylor (percussion) and Harlow (piano) are joined by Jaribu Shahid (bass) and Rafael Leafar (woodwinds) to bring this concept to life.

Josh Harlow is a pianist and composer in Chicago. Born in Boston to a musical family, Harlow's formative experiences included singing prayers in synagogue and playing rock and jazz with friends in basements, living rooms, and all-ages clubs. As a perpetual student and collaborator, Harlow has been lucky to interface with likeminded peers and mentors including Wadada Leo Smith, John Lindberg, Vincent Davis, Jaribu Shahid, Billy Hart, and Dan Wall. Harlow graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 2016, where he studied jazz, composition, and improvisation. josh harlow

Jonathan Barahal Taylor is a percussionist, composer, and improviser based in Detroit. An avid collaborator, He co-leads a number of diverse projects, including the art-rock quartet saajtak, the electro-acoustic duo Says Things, Teiku, which reimagines aurally transmitted ancestral Jewish melodies in a Creative Music context, the sound and movement ensemble Legs, and his own band Mover, which performs a constantly shifting modular suite of Taylor’s compositions and graphic scores. Taylor has played with some of the most revered names in jazz and creative music, Including Wadada Leo Smith, John Lindberg, Tomeka Reid, Angelica Sanchez, Dave Liebman, Michael Formanek, Karl Berger, and Jaribu Shahid, and has performed at the DC Jazz Festival, EdgeFest, The Jazz Gallery In New York, the Detroit Jazz Festival, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The International Association of Schools of Jazz Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, and in 2019 toured Japan with the art-rock band Throwaway. He attended the Banff Centre’s International Workshop for Jazz and Creative music under the direction of Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey in 2013 and 2018 and maintains studies in tabla and Hindustani Music with Sri Souma Kanti Mukerjee, disciple of the late master of the Benares Gharana, Pt. Chhote Lal Mishra. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he earned a BFA in Jazz and Contemplative Studies, studying with Geri Allen, Andrew Bishop, Ellen Rowe, Evan Chambers, Mark Kirschenmann, Michael Gould, Stephen Rush, and Sean Dobbins. He is currently a graduate student at U of M. jonathan barahal taylor

Rafael Leafar {2020 Film & Music Kresge Artist Fellow} is a rare multi-instrumentalist who can combine great passion, intellectual discipline, and a spiritual fire that is evocative of great artistic creativity. He has established himself as a remarkable composer and musician not defined by any one particular genre or style.

Hailing from Detroit, Rafael’s connection to music was fostered from a musical family at an early age. Since the start of Rafael’s professional music career in 2009, there have been major recording & performances with; Reggie Workman, Jeff Mills, Moodyman, Robert Hurst, Marcus Belgrave, Luis Resto, Vincent Chandler, Marion Hayden, Sterling Toles, Detroit Jazz Festival Band, Kamau Kenyatta, and Detroit Composers Collective. rafael leafar

Bassist Jaribu Shahid is a jazz composer and improviser. He grew up splitting time between Detroit and Remus, MI, spending summers on his grandfather’s farm. Shahid’s first record, “Positive Force with Ade Olatunji,” was released in 1977, at which time he also became part of the formation of Griot Galaxy. Shahid held the bass chair in Sun Ra’s Arkestra from 1978 to 1980, and later joined Roscoe Mitchell’s band, which led to his becoming bassist for the Art Ensemble of Chicago from 2004 to the present. Additionally, Shahid played bass in the James Carter trio from 1993 to 1998 and worked with David Murray from 1998 to 2019. jaribu shahid


  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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