June 7 | Black Cherry Puppet Theater Baltimore, MD
June 8 | Johnny Brenda's
June 23 | Naumkeag
June 28 | Stomping Ground
June 29 | The Regattabar
August 10 | Balkan Dance Party
Past Notable Performances
Kennedy Center-Millennium Stage
Washington , D.C.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
11th Annual NY Gypsy Festival
New York, NY
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Festival of Arts & Ideas
New Haven, CT
Balkan Soul Fest
Cocek! Brass Band-Round Two
Boston, MA USA
The clock strikes 10:00pm. And like a galaxy slowly emerging from scattered stardust, the patrons of the Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville, MA are pulled to the center of the room. Also like a spiraling galaxy, wandering notes from Balkan scales fill the corners of the warehouse—trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, tuba, all pouring out notes in varying speeds and directions. Pockets of writhing hipsters, grandmas, Balkan dancers and stragglers begin to swell as the Tappan drum (traditional Eastern-European drum) pounds out rhythms that seem to juggle the wandering arpeggiations and catchy melodies of the horn section. This is a typical night out with Boston-based Cocek! Brass Band, who are releasing their second full length album, Round Two, this March.
A collection of original compositions influenced by Eastern-European and New Orleans dance music, Afrobeat, Klezmer and elements of reggae and Western Classical music. The songs are inspired by acts like Fanfare Ciocarlia, Fela Kuti, Miles Davis, Rebirth Brass Band, traditional Balkan songs and chamber brass repertoire. Dance music for those seeking something new and unique, contemplative Old World melodies that hark to a lost era and catchy riffs that will have you singing along and tapping your foot throughout the entire album.
In performance spaces ranging from hollowed out warehouses and arts spaces in Boston to the Kennedy Center in D.C. The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival in Vermont, WorldFest in Louisville, KY and the 11th Annual NY Gypsy Music Festival, Cocek! can be found sprinkling their Phrygian magic dust on audience members throughout the land. And with a flagrant disregard for the “fourth wall,” CBB will often emerge right from the faceless crown of the audience—or from outside the venue, backstage, through the kitchen or from upstairs coming down on an elevator—already spinning their melodies as if no one ever told them that you're supposed to be on stage before you start the show.
Who are these unmasked men?
Cocek! consists of Sam Dechenne (trumpet/vocals), the band's founder and composer. Sam also plays with John Brown's Body, Klezwoods and The Aldous Collins Band. He has performed with Noel Gallagher (Oasis), Guster, and toured across the globe with reggae, Jazz, klezmer and orchestral ensembles. Sam is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and this upcoming album will be his second full length record of original compositions. Alongside Sam, the Cocek! members are all advanced players and teachers from all across the U.S., living now in Boston, MA: Ezra Weller (flugelhorn), is the founder of Groupmuse, a company that brings small chamber music ensembles to living rooms across the country, and graduate of New England Conservatory; Clayton DeWalt (Trombone), a professor at Babson College and graduate of New England Conservatory; Jim Gray (Tuba), who has long played with Naftuli's Dream as well as Klezwoods, and has performed at Boston's Symphony Hall, Cleveland POPS, and can be heard on the film score for Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry; and, Grant Smith (Tapan Drum), member of Klezmer Conservatory Band and Itzhak Perlman's touring klezmer ensemble. He has more recently played venues as prestigious as the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall.
In 2015, Cocek! released a professionally produced music video for "There Goes Shlomo", a track from their debut album Here Comes Shlomo. The video has been nominated for the 2016 Manchester Film Festival in UK. They have collaborated with a traditional Japanese Taiko drum troupe for the UNIQLO clothing company’s grande opening and VIP event in Boston. In the Winter of 2014, the ensemble joined with Boston-area electronic musician "String N' Fader" to create a re-mix album consisting of different DJs and electronic musicians sample songs from Shlomo.
In 2016 and beyond, Cocek! will continue to travel the land and push boundaries—between Western/Balkan, audience/performers, warehouse/concert hall, stage/dance floor, brass/electronica, traditional/postmodern, stardust/galaxy. And when they say CHO! you better say: CHECK! … CHECK!...
-Josh Lederman, Brandeis University
Official Music Video for "There Goes Shlomo"
2016 Manchester International Film Festival Nominee