The HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE is a family band consis1ng 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 wriYen jazz composi1ons 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 genera1on (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 discon1nued 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 Sa#n (for which they received an American Author’s Award). Using street performance as way to broaden their audience and hone their now dis1nc1ve sound, they found success at the grass roots level, garnering over 50,000 in sales na1onwide. It was around this 1me that Island DEF JAM offered Hypno1c Brass a feature collabora1on with renowned producer NO ID (mentor to KANYE WEST & GHOSTFACE KILLAH) as well as an accompanying ar1st /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 distribu1on 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 hypno#c polyphony connec#ng the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra’s Arkestra with the urgency of hip-hop and the sweeping emo#onal scale of a Cur#s Mayield blaxploita#on opus.” News of the ensemble’s sound spread throughout the industry, and aeer Emcee/actor Mos Def caught a live HBE’s show, 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 glove including JAZZSTAGE at LINCOLN CENTER and SHEAPHERDS BUSH in London.
At the same 1me HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE inked an ougihng deal with Dutch denim giant GSTAR RAW, and began their foray into interna1onal touring with a European tour that featured headlining performances at NORTH SEA JAZZ fest, BREAD & BUTTER BARCELONA, and the GOOD THE BAD THE QUEEN Victoria Park.