HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE
While most of today's music is overflowing with artificial elements and effects, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (HBE) offers the authenticity and attested musicianship of the eras that birthed the band's influences: jazz, funk, soul, and hip-hop. The group's fusion of these genres has created the unparalleled, mesmeric sound that has captivated audiences worldwide. Strong familiar musical ties encouraged these eight brothers, born and raised in the crime-riddled south side of Chicago, to infiltrate their neighborhoods with brass weapons of expression to provide much-needed enlightenment and entertainment. HBE's compelling street performances transformed the group members into global celebrities who plan to continue sharing their passion for music with the hope that their spellbinding sound will inspire every individual who hears it.
Born in the '70s and early '80s into a family whose musical legacy spanned Chicago (their father, Kelan Phil Cohran, is the co-foudner of the AACM and was the lead trumpet player in eccentric jazz revolutionary Sun Ra's Arkestra), the brothers of HBE honed their talents performing on the streets of Chicago. In 1999, they began performing a new style of brass music they called "Hypnotic." After recording their first album, Flipside, they won the 2001 CPS Young Author's Award – an achievement that enabled HBE to perform at major venues and events across Chicago. With the success of its sophomore album Jupiter (2005), HBE began traveling and performing for audiences of all genres, opening up for huge acts ranging from The B-52s to Talib Kweli and collaborating with hip-hop icon Mos Def. The band also continued to release its music independently, a practice it maintains to this day with recent releases like 2011's Bulletproof Brass.
Through its music, HBE has forged business relationships with various brands outside of music. The group has received outfitting sponsorships from G-Star Clothing, Puma, Live Mechanics, Radii Shoes, and Akademics; has licensed original music to Black and Mild Tobacco; appeared as part of the soundtrack for the HBO documentary The Lazarus Effect; and even scored a spot in the soundtrack to the 2012 blockbuster The Hunger Games with its track "War." Having performed at hundreds of venues and festivals across six continents, the band continues working to fuse the better parts of every musical genre into a legacy that will shape the future of music itself.
Jennah Bell is an Oakland-grown singer/songwriter whose ravenous musical curiosities inspired her own creative wonderland; her quirky songwriting and undefinable genre is a direct product of her proud Bay Area roots As the architect of all aspects of her musical endeavours, Jennah pulls from a colorful palette of Folk, Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Bluegrass.
Jennah was selected by the Grammy Foundation to participate in the summer program under the tutelage of Jimmy Jam, Paul Williams, and David Foster, all of whom embraced her unorthodox writing style. This experience encouraged Jennah to further her studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where she immersed herself in a community of artists, and found much inspiration in her peers and professors. Included in her supporters is the legendary Paul simon who extended his expertise and mentorship to the burgeoning artist.
In 2011, Jennah released her first selfproduced EP, the experimental “Early Bird,” and left Boston for New York City, where she’s been warmly welcomed into NYC’s renowned music scene. Most recently, Jennah performed at The 2012 BET Awards as a Independent Music Matters artist. Jennah recently performed at the CMJ’s Music Marathon and several stages at the prestigious SXSW Music Festival. She has released a 3-piece acoustic set “Live at Mother,” EP this past December which is profiled on Okayplayer.com.
Haunting as the blues, gritty as rap verse, and enchanting as only folk can be, Jennah Bell is the sum of music’s best parts.