Estar Cohen is an award-winning composer, vocalist, lyricist, and educator based out of Ypsilanti, MI. She has performed alongside renowned musicians including Jon Hendricks, Peter Eldridge, Tad Weed, Fabian Almazan, Pete Siers, David Bixler, Vinny Golia, and Ken Filiano, among others. In 2018, she received the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award for her piece, "Endings," off of her second album, Live at Willis Sound and made her debut at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival.
Estar graduated with a bachelor of music in Jazz Performance from the University of Toledo in 2015 where she studied voice, improvisation, and composition with pianist Tad Weed, guitarist Jay Weik, and “father of vocalese” Jon Hendricks who has called her lyrics "beautiful." Some highlights from that time include recording her first album, Waiting For Dawn, lyricizing the instrumental pieces of late jazz pianist, Herbie Nichols, for Tad Weed's Freedom Ensemble, putting on clinics and concerts with her jazz quintet Talking Ear at numerous Southern Michigan Universities, and exploring the art of free improvisation and improvised poetry with Jay Weik.
Since her graduation, she has traveled as a performer and educator throughout the Midwest and in major cities including New York and Chicago. Notable performances have included the Newport Jazz Festival in conjunction with the ASCAP Foundation, headlining Ann Arbor's Edgefest w/Tad Weed's Freedom Ensemble, the Columbus Jazz & Ribs Festival, New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall, the West Michigan Wine & Jazz Festival, Earthwork Harvest Gathering, and the Toledo Museum of Art.
Estar is an avid writer, penning lyrics for Midwest jazz artists including Tad Weed, Travis Aukerman, Dan Palmer, and Benjamin Maloney. Her poetry has been published in Ohio Anthology, Bards Again 2016, and in Khroma Magazine. As an educator, Estar has taught songwriting with Michigan label Earthwork Music in partnership with the non-profit SEEDS, and is a private music instructor in the Ann Arbor area.