Talking Ear is a five-piece progressive music ensemble based out of the Midwest, committed to providing a unique experience for listeners through composition, collaboration, and improvisation.
Talking Ear is a five-piece progressive music ensemble based out of the Midwest, committed to providing a unique experience for listeners through composition, collaboration, and improvisation. The band was consists of vocalist Estar Cohen, guitarist Daniel Palmer, pianist Benjamin Maloney, bassist Aidan Cafferty, and drummer Travis Aukerman. Each musician has a distinct voice as an accomplished composer and performer, contributing to an exciting and versatile, yet particularly cohesive sound. Their self-titled debut album is a reflection of the band’s dedication to original music. Each song was contributed by a different member and collaborated on as a collective. The result is the realization of years of artistic partnership and mutual support, both on and off the stage.
Growing up in a Midwestern suburb could be a lonely start for a young jazz enthusiast, but as a result of coming up in a small, supportive scene, Travis Aukerman, Ben Maloney, and Estar Cohen met as teenagers. Heavy in the depths of “alternative music,” they began going to shows together, devouring a plethora of albums, and working on each other’s original songs. They were lucky enough to catch the tail-end of Toledo, Ohio’s iconic/only jazz club, Murphy’s Place, before it closed in 2011. The proprietor, bassist Clifford Murphy and his musical partner, the late jazz pianist Claude Black, were major influences in their early development as improvisors. The two met Dan within the University of Toledo Jazz Program and the four began playing after hours, seeking moments of musical freedom one needs in the heart of academia. The formation of Talking Ear was the natural outcome of an incessant hunger to develop original work, and to push each other forward on their creative paths. Upon graduating, they were introduced to Ben Rolston who was already a fixture in the Greater Detroit scene. Ben played with the band for two years before moving to New York City.
Talking Ear was then introduced to Ann Arbor, MI native/bassist Aidan Cafferty in 2017, who has become a solid member of the band. Since 2015, Talking Ear has performed at clubs and intimate listening rooms throughout the Midwest. In addition to performing, the band has presented clinics at numerous High School and College music programs, including Albion College, Spring Arbor University, Hillsdale College, and ChiArts.