Brother El is a spontaneous composer and multidisciplinary creative who uses music and visual arts to express ideas while connecting people to a higher plane of consciousness. Raised in the hip hop ascetic and DIY movement, he constantly looks to push the boundaries of music as an expert in the Live PA field. Formally trained as an Audio Engineer and Graphic Designer, he has acquired many different skills running The Beat Bank, an independent record label. His sets often include using sequencers, synthesizers, drum machines and samplers with doing fully improvised and live beat-making. His unique style has been described as Chicago’s pulse, the breath of hip hop, the heartbeat of club respiration and the clashing fusion of South Side meeting ancestral roots.
In addition to his Live PA performances, Brother El has multiple forays and partnerships within the Chicago Music Scene. Along with his solo performances, he also is a member of two groups: The electronic experimental act “Makers Of Sense” and most recently “The Present Elders” who recently came to prominence due to a series of pop up shows held at culturally significant areas of Chicago. Furthermore, Brother El has worked with multiple Chicago institutions including The University of Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music, The Department of Cultural Affairs, The Oakland Museum of Contemporary Art, Knobcon, and Loyola University.
Bombing the Streets with Audio Graffiti
As one half of “The Present Elders”, Brother El has blazing new trails by playing a series of pop up shows at major areas throughout the city in areas like The Cultural Center, the Garfield Park Conservatory, Ohio Street Beach, Block Parties and Neighborhood Celebrations. These innovative, spontaneous composition electronic shows are unlike any other performances currently happening in the city and have received amazing responses both by attendees and across social media. These performances offer a unique opportunity to connect directly with audience members and represent breaking the barrier between audience and performer that are characteristic of traditional shows. This direct connection to the audience and city as a whole has a profound effect.
Traditional Venues, Innovative Performance
Over the years, Brother El has also played more traditional shows across every major Chicago venue – both large and small. Most recently, Brother El was chosen by Old Town School of Folk Music to celebrate the Kenwood/Oakwood neighborhoods of Chicago with a concert on 41st beach. This event involved Brother El playing a fully improvised set using analog synthesizers, sequencers and featuring live art and acoustic musician guests from the Oakwood / North Kenwood neighborhood.
Additionally, Brother El was recently invited to play during the opening reception Knobcon as an expert in the field of live PA music production. Currently his focus is to move away from traditional venues and into more intimate and forward thinking spaces such as the Comfort Station and Lacuna Lofts.