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Erik Friedlander

Erik Friedlander

In my 20s, I was trying to become a classical orchestra cellist,” says Erik Friedlander. “By the time I hit 30, I realized that this was a mistake.”

Meanwhile, he remained haunted by an earlier encounter with jazz. “I had played this gig with [bassist] Harvie Swartz,” he recalls. “I was just out of high school and it was the first improvising thing I had ever experienced, and it totally blew my mind. But I couldn’t get work as a jazz cellist. I wasn’t playing over changes so well at the time so the hardcore jazz guys weren’t really interested in me. And I wasn’t hip to thewhole downtown scene,which was really expressive and passionate. I had to make a living so I chose to continue in this classical route to get work.”

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