Meet the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a family band consisting of 8 blood brothers trained in musical instrumentation since the tender ages of 4 & 5 by their father, jazz trumpeter/band leader Kelan Phil Cohran (Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Sun Ra) who subsequently formed the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble composed of his children.

By 1999, the band of brothers discontinued playing with dad in order to find their own sound and started going by the name of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. In 2001 HBE independently cut and released their first LP Satin on Chicago’s south side. The album enjoyed grass roots success garnering over 50,000 sales nationwide. HBE moved to New York City following the release of their second LP Jupiter which caught the ear of Blur lead Damon Albarn resulting in UK distribution by his label Honest Jons.

Shortly after, HBE’s live show was caught by hip-hop emcee/actor Mos Def and the brothers joined with him onstage and began touring as the Mos Def Big Band gracing stages from Jazzstage at Lincoln Center to Shepherd's Bush in London. HBE took a trip to Africa with Damon Albarn & Africa Express and the result was a full LP recorded upon return to London and released under UK Honest Jons in 2009 (which later featured a song War in the blockbuster movie Hunger Games). The brothers were living in London when they recorded the new Gorillaz record with D. Albarn Welcome to Plastic Beach and joined the Plastic Beach 2010 world tour performing alongside Bobby Womack, Mick Jones from the Clash, De La Soul, and Snoop Dogg. Since then HBE has grown into an even newer sound with their last effort Bulletproof Brass released by their very own label Pheelco Entertainment, while also wrapping up a PBS documentary based on the band of brothers set for 2013 summer release.



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