He also tickles the ivories.
“I love jazz a lot,” Taleni said. “I’m a jazz guy.”
After four seasons at Pitt, Taleni transferred to FAU this fall as a graduate student. He immediately stepped into the starting lineup along the Owls’ defensive line.
In seven games this season Taleni recorded 13 tackles. He also recovered a fumble in Saturday’s 69-31 victory over North Texas – a win that kept the Owls in a first place tie with Marshall at the top of Conference USA’s East Division.
Earlier this week Taleni joined OwlAccess.com’s Karla DeVivo for the latest edition of Down with DeVivo. Those two are joined by a couple other guests who have little to do with FAU football.
Saxophonist Mervyn Johnston and bassist Bruce Freeland of the jazz band Remedy accompany Taleni for a quick jam session in the Acura Club Level of Howard Schnellenberger Field. Video from the session appears as part of the Down With DeVivo video near the top of the page.
When Taleni isn’t playing football or jazz, he can often be found listening to jazz pianist Brian Culbertson.
“Jazz definitely taught me a lot about being creative in terms of using scales and techniques,” Taleni said. “The reason why I love jazz is because I can hear different movements and stuff like that inside the music and it’s exciting to hear.”
Taleni and the Owls return to the field on Saturday when they face reigning Conference USA champion Western Kentucky in Bowling Green.
Catch Remedy every Sunday night at the Blue Anchor Pub on Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach.