Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

HBE sans instruments 2 Photo by Ray YauAt The Colonial Theatre
Thursday, May 11 at 7pm

Tickets: Premium: $45
Orchestra and Balcony: $35
Gallery: $25


The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (HBE) 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/bandleader, Kelan Phil Cohran (Earth, Wind, & Fire; Chaka Khan and Sun Ra). The boys formed the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble, and toured the United States performing the original written jazz compositions of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and the music of classical greats Bach and Beethoven. While touring, the brothers were personally being exposed to the hip-hop, rock and reggae music of their own generation and absorbed these components into the cosmic jazz style of their father to create Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

News of the ensemble’s sound spread throughout the industry, and after 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). Since then, the group has graced many stages around the globe including, JazzStage at Lincoln Center, and Shepherds Bush in London. HBE’s hit song,“War,” was featured on the international blockbuster movie, Hunger Games.

The group’s sound is described by Fader Magazine as, “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.” The Los Angeles Times says, “Trafficking in a free-flowing blend of jazz, hip-hop and Afrobeat, the group can resemble the world’s funkiest marching band one minute, an unhinged New Orleans funeral procession the next.”