Fort Wayne, IN – The Embassy Theatre presented the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble for two free student performances on Oct. 25, 2016, and a ticketed evening performance on Oct. 26 for the general public. Attendance for all three events totaled more than 4,000 individuals, including more than 3,500 youths. This engagement brought many young people to the Embassy Theatre for the first time and provided them with an opportunity to participate in and appreciate an art experience. “My son was there with New Haven Middle School and he said he had a blast,” said a parent via Facebook.
Embassy Education Manager Rebecca Reeder was excited by the response she observed during and after the engagement. “There was undoubtedly cultural growth for all who attended. The musicians made a real effort to connect with students by going into the audience to speak to them as they were leaving the building.” Since fall of 2013, Learn it Live free educational presentations have served more than 17,000 students. However, there is always room for learning and improvement. Embassy Programming Director Jared Duymovic said one lesson learned from this presentation was not to push artistic content for teachers/students too far too fast. “Though this group was very well received, there were some teachers who were concerned about content due to some of the group’s videos online portraying alternative life choices that may not have been suitable for young students,” he said. “This proved not to be the content of the show, but it may have been an impediment to higher sales of the public ticketed performance.”
“The band was amazing. I loved their energy!” said Michelle Bryant. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble onstage, as seen through an engaged audience during a school performance. Photo provided courtesy of Embassy Theatre Foundation, Inc.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a contemporary jazz group made up of seven brothers from the south side of Chicago. The documentary film Brothers Hypnotic explores their music, work ethic, life and experience of being raised by their jazz legend father Phil Cohran. After screening in major cities and festivals, it aired on PBS. Their song, “War” was featured in the blockbuster hit movie, Hunger Games. From playing music together at home, they have toured throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America playing with everyone from Prince, Mos Def, Mick Jones (The Clash) and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). They’ve performed at Coachella, WOMADelaide, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall.
Photos courtesy of Kosson Talent on behalf of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
The Embassy Theatre Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on the preservation and operation of The Embassy Theatre and providing high-quality programming for cultural enrichment in Indiana. The historic Embassy Theatre features national productions from the Broadway stage, concerts of all musical formats, cinema, educational programming, and a continued commitment to young people. The Embassy and adjoining Indiana Hotel play host to a myriad of professional, social, and community events each year.
This engagement was a Star Project that engaged a performing artist from the Midwest.