Whether you have listened to a multi-layered Hypnotic Brass Ensemble recording, or have watched these ‘Bad Boys of Jazz’ take to the stage on myriad international platforms, it is instantly apparent that a burning passion for music – and an unfaltering desire to master their craft beyond foreseen standards – is built into the very essence of each band member. All of them sons of Chicago jazz trumpeter Phil Cohran, music has enveloped them since the initial stages of their formative years, wherein they would analyse complex musical compositions and slot in rehearsal time before and after school each day. A meticulous work ethic, to say the least, but one that undoubtedly paid off: their first, adolescent incarnation as the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble saw them give performances to leading figures such as Nelson Mandela and Harold Washington, while their list of collaborators as Hypnotic Brass Ensemble includes the likes of Prince, Blur and Gorillaz.
Supported by an eclectic mix of experimental artists, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble will perform over the course of four evenings in the atmospheric setting of The Sugar Club, bringing their unique fusion of musical styles to Irish shores. Priding themselves on having created a sound free from the shackles of technology, this melange of varying genres – from hip-hop to jazz and all else in between – means that their scope for musical partnerships is boundless. This is evidenced in the choice of supporting acts for the first three nights: Stomptown Brass, a diverse urban brass band which has generated acclaim in its native Dublin; Interskalatic, a homegrown, festival favourite reinventing the ska genre, and Manden Express, an Afro-Irish band that fuse traditional and contemporary styles in their music with ease. / Amelia O’Mahony-Brady