Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
The HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE is a family band consisting of seven blood brothers who began their musical training at the tender ages of four and five by their father, jazz trumpeter/band leader Kelan Phil Cohran (EARTH, WIND, & FIRE, CHAKA KHAN, SUN RA). The boys went on to form the PHIL COHRAN YOUTH ENSEMBLE in 1990. The family toured the United States performing the complex original wryYen jazz compositions of Cohran and other greats such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and even the music of classical greats Bach & Beethoven.
Although the group's early musical training encompassed primarily elements of instrumental performance, the brothers were personally being exposed to the music of their own generation (hip-hop, rock, reggae, to name a few) and absorbed these components into the cosmic jazz style of their father.
By 1999, the band of brothers discontinued playing with dad in order to find their own sound, growing into the band now known as HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE or HBE.
In 2001, HBE independently cut and released their first LP Satin (for which they received an American Author's Award). Using street performance as a way to broaden their audience and hone their now distinctive sound, they found success at the grass roots level, garnering over 50,000 in sales nationwide. It was around this time that Island DEF JAM offered Hypnotic Brass a feature collaboration with renowned producer NO ID (mentor to KANYE WEST & GHOSTFACE KILLAH) as well an accompanying artist/in-house band recording contract. The band decided to stay indie and moved to New York City and followed up their debut album with the release of their second LP Jupiter.
The album caught the ear of BLUR lead DAMON ALBARN and led to distribution in the UK by Albarn's imprint Honest Jons. By now the musical style of HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE "had blossomed and come into its own." (Lily Koppel/New York Times)
The group’s sound was best put by Fader Magazine's Edwin Stats who called the band's music: "a huge brass bridge of hypnotic polyphony connecting the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra's Arkestra with the urgency of hip-hop and the sweeping emotional scale of a Curtis Mayfield blaxploitation opus.
News of the ensemble's sound spread throughout the industry and Emcee/actor Mos Def caught a live HBE's show, and the brothers were asked to join him onstage as part of the MOS DEF BIG BAND (including Robert Glasper, Chris Dave, Casey Benjamin). The group graced many stages around the globe including JAZZSTAGE at Lincoln Center and SHEPHERD'S BUSH in London.
At the same time, HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE inked an ongoing deal with Dutch denim giant GSTAR RAW, and began their foray into international touring with a European tour that featured headlining performances at NORTH SEA JAZZ FEST, BREAD & BUTTER BARCELONA, and THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE QUEEN at Victoria Park.
By 2008, HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE had performed their original tunes in every corner of the world to audiences as big as 110,000 (Glastonbury's ROSKILDE) and premiered music at venues around the world including London's RONNIE SCOTT'S, Australia's SYNDEY OPERA HOUSE, and New York City's CARNEGIE HALL.
In 2009, following a tour in Lagos, Africa with Damon Albarn and Africa Express, HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE recorded a full LP in London and released it under UK Honest Jons label. One of the songs on the album, "War" became a featured song on the international blockbuster movie The Hunger Games.
HBE signed on with The Agency Group for international touring and set out to blow away audiences at WOMAD AU; BIG CHILL: NOVARRA JAZZ: BERMUDA JAZZ FEST PERCBAN in Brazil: POHODA in Czech Republic; COACHELLA and many others.
The brothers were living in London when they recorded the Gorillaz record with D. Albarn Welcome to Plastic Beach and joined the Plastic Beach 2010 World Tour. Upon its release performing alongside BOBBY WOMACK and MICK JONES from the CLASH DE LA SOUL & SNOOP DOGG. HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE gave their signature dose of hard brass to every audience on the four-month international tour and earned a spot backing up PRINCE at the NEW POWER GENERATION FEST in Denmark the next year, personally requested by THE ARTIST himself.
Since then, HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE has grown into an even newer sound with their latest efforts BulletProof Brass and Fly released by their very own imprint PHEELCO ENTERTAINMENT.
In 2015 the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble signed with Kosson Talent to expand their US touring. They are now gearing up to release a new installment entitled Bad Boys of Jazz.