Teiku - featuring John Lindberg
Time & Location
About The Event
The project’s concept is reframing ancestral Jewish melodies, passed down aurally, in a creative music setting. Teiku is a creative music ensemble led by Michigan based composers, improvisers, and performers Josh Harlow on piano and Jonathan Taylor on drums. They will perform with bassist John Lindberg, and saxophonist Peter Formanek. The group is focused on the interpretation, preservation, and recomposition of aurally transmitted Jewish family melodies.
Jonathan Taylor and Josh Harlow were both raised Jewish, claiming ancestors from the Ukraine, in the villages of Bershnitz and Monasterishtche. While the Ukrainian-Jewish communities in these villages have long since disappeared, victims of pogroms and the Holocaust, some traditions remain amongst the diaspora. Strikingly, both grew up with a set of songs, intended to be sung on Passover, that are traced back to their respective ancestral villages and are, so far as they know, completely unique to their families.
Upon discovering this amazing coincidence, they started a new project, Teiku, which means “unanswered question” in ancient Hebrew, to document, perform, and breathe new life into these beautiful old melodies. Harlow (piano) and Taylor (drums) are joined by bass and woodwinds to set the tunes in a creative music context, balancing carefully set parameters and open improvisation.
“A stunning and meaningful project and performance! We must make our music personal.” — Deanna Relyea, Artistic Director, Edgefest Ann Arbor
Jonathan 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, the sound and movement ensemble Legs, improvising trio Lanula, 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, 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 Ark in Ann Arbor, The Music Hall in Detroit, The International Association of Schools of Jazz Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, and more. 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.
Josh Harlow is a pianist and composer currently based in Chicago. He has performed around the United States with several musical projects: the creative Jewish roots music group Teiku, instrumental psychedelic band Submerser, his piano trio, and as a collaborator with a variety of likeminded musical peers and some of his elders including Nicole Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, John Lindberg, Michael Formanek, Jaribu Shahid, Dana Jessen, and Joo Won Park. In addition to his work as a composer and performer, Josh is an experienced and committed teacher. He teaches private and group lessons and has an ongoing relationship with Make Music NOLA, a free music-for-social-justice afterschool and summer program for underserved children in New Orleans.
John Lindberg commenced his full-time professional career at age sixteen, allowing for total immersion into his work as a performer/composer, subsequently being mentored by the late great bassist David Izenzon. The first public performances of his ensemble compositions began in 1975, and in 1980 he recorded his first album focused on his original music, a collection of works for solo double bass, Comin & Goin. Over the last forty-one years he has traveled the globe performing thousands of concerts of creative music, in thirty-six countries on five continents. He has released myriad albums over one hundred that spotlight his original compositions for a variety of jazz ensembles, and feature his singularly identifiable bass playing.
His extended works for chamber ensembles combined with improvising artists have been widely commissioned, including works for The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, New York Chamber Ensemble, and Neues Kolner Streichquartett. His catalogue contains over one hundred and fifty published works.
He is renowned as an ensemble leader, a collaborator in special duet settings, a solo double bass performer, and as co-founder of the String Trio of New York with Billy Bang and James Emery. He has worked with a plethora of luminary creative artists, including: Albert Mangelsdorff, Ed Thigpen, Eric Watson, Louis Sclavis, Human Arts Ensemble, Frank Lowe, Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra, Karl Berger, Anthony Braxton, Andrew Cyrille, Dave Douglas, John Carter, Henry Threadgill, Jack DeJohnette, Regina Carter, Jimmy Lyons, Sunny Murray, Roswell Rudd, Mary Redhouse, Pablo Calogero, Joe LaBarbera, Wendell Harrison, and Kevin Norton. His work as a producer of numerous recordings, and of powerful cross-genre projects such as JazzHopRevolution and BLOB is well established, as is his ongoing work as an educator with a distinctly unique message.
Awards and fellowships in support of his work include those from New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Chamber Music America, ASCAP, Arts International, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Cary Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet The Composer, and a Diploma de Honor from Gobernacion Cordillera, Chile. Released in September, 2016, on Clean Feed Records, are two new albums: John Lindberg BC3, Born in an Urban Ruin and John Lindberg Raptor Trio, Western Edges. Other recent recordings that feature his compositions include the duet with Wadada Leo Smith, Celestial Weather, the duet with cellist Anil Eraslan, Juggling Kukla (released as a limited edition of 300 vinyl LPs), and John Lindberg’s TriPolar, [a]live at Roulette, NYC.
Of late, John’s disparate extra-musical activities which include a stint as a community rescue squad ambulance driver, serving as general contractor for a cabin built with carpenter friends in South Dakota, and being engaged as an observational naturalist have significantly informed his work as a composer and musician.
This interpretation of Adir Hu also features Peter Formanek (Tenor Saxophone) and Will Mcevoy (Bass).