Pianist and composer Josh Harlow grew up celebrating Passover, the Jewish holiday of freedom with matzo, and getting tipsy off four cups of wine. But he did not grow up with the same melodies as his friends. He came to realize that the melodies he was singing at family Seders weren’t the same as the traditional ones of his peers.
After asking his Bubbe about it, he learned these melodies have a special history – they are artifacts of his family’s ancestral village in Ukraine, and were brought over by his great-grandfather Cantor David Chasman. Amazingly, his friend and close musical collaborator Jonathan Taylor also has unique family Passover melodies from his ancestral village in the Ukraine.
It was b’shert (meant to be). With the addition of upright bass and woodwinds, Teiku was born in the summer.
They went on their first tour this past October, garnering rave reviews. Although they are big fans of klezmer, the music of Teiku falls into a different category. Harlow and Taylor are musical adventurers who crave distinctive, interesting sounds and experiences and they are excited to bring that spirit of adventure to Chicago.
Okay, but what does the name mean?
You might have heard the phrase “two Jews, three opinions.”
Since that has been going on for such a long time, there is even a word for when you just can’t come to a compromise that dates back to the Talmud. Teiku means an unanswered or unanswerable question, and the music is just as beautiful and mystifying. It can also mean a pouch where something is hidden, and the search for the hidden is a metaphor for this music of adventure.
Learn moreabout Teiku and this innovative musical production
Written by Teiku composer Josh Harlow
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