By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Circo Voador venue located in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Lapa will be filled with blaring horns and blasting percussion as the American group, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and the Rio de Janeiro brass bloco (Carnival group) Orquestra Voadora perform live tonight, Saturday, May 23rd.
An eight-piece group based in Chicago, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is known from their wide-ranging style. Featuring only brass players and a percussionist, with the exception of a guitarist and bassist for live shows and recordings, their sounds move energetically from jazz, to funk, to rock to hip-hop.
Also known as The Bad Boys of Jazz, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble consists of brothers Gabriel Hubert, Amal Hubert, Jafar Graves, and Tarik Graves on trumpets; Tycho Cohran on sousaphone; Uttama Hubert on euphonium; and Saiph Graves and Seba Graves on trombones.
Born to different mothers, all are sons of jazz trumpeter, composer and Sun Ra’s Arkestra member Kelan Phil Cohran. They all grew up in Chicago, the youngest of some twenty-three children fathered by Cohran.
During their childhood, they played together as part of the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble, and later performed on the streets and subways of Chicago and New York City before becoming an official ensemble. As Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, they released their debut album, Flipside, in 2004 and have performed with artists including Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul, Prince, B52’s and Femi Kuti.
Additionally playing tonight will be the Rio de Janeiro brass bloco (Carnival group) Orquestra Voadora, which includes Daniel Paiva, Tiago Rodrigues and Vicente Quintela on trumpets; Leonardo Campos and Márcio Sobrosa on trombones; André Ramos on baritone sax; Juliano B. Pires on tuba; and André Fioroti, Hugo Prazeres, Marcelo Azevedo and Pedro Araújo on percussion.
The group was formed in 2008 when various brass musicians from other blocos, including American tuba player Tim Malik, combined to form a new bloco.
Together they brought a new sound to Rio’s Carnival celebration as they became known for combining the rhythms of traditional samba with covers of songs by Michael Jackson, Madonna, and The Beatles, among others.
Following their widely successful performances during Carnival celebrations around the city, the group began to tour Brazil and then the world. They have become well-known for their energetic live shows.
The bands Muntchako and Marofas Grass Band will also perform live tonight, making the event a night not to be missed by fans of brass, samba, jazz and big bands in Rio.