Cyro Baptista

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Cyro Baptista
Cyro Baptista (2734678863).jpg
Cyro Baptista performing in Marciac, France, in 2008
Background information
Born (1950-12-23) December 23, 1950 (age 64)
Origin São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Jazz, Jazz fusion, world music
Occupation(s) musician
Instruments Percussion
Associated acts Beat the Donkey, many others

Cyro Baptista (born December 23, 1950) is a Brazilian musician, teacher, and recording artist specializing in percussion in the genres of jazz and world music.

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Baptista arrived in the U.S. in 1980 with a scholarship to the Woodstock-based Creative Music Studio. He has recorded and toured regularly with popular musicians and groups. Baptista creates many of the percussion instruments he plays.

Recordings[edit]

Baptista recorded with pianist Herbie Hancock on his 2005 release, Possibilities. In 2002 Baptista toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Brazil Project and also appeared on the Obrigado Brazil album – winner of two Grammy awards. He also toured with Trey Anastasio of Phish and John Zorn. He recorded and performed worldwide with Herbie Hancock’s Grammy award winning Gershwin’s World. Baptista collaborated with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra for a Brazilian Carnival modern jazz concert. For over two years, he toured with Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints tour and appears on his Concert in Central Park release. He also toured worldwide with Sting in 2001.

Baptista has performed or recorded with many artists, including: Trey Anastasio, Laurie Anderson, Derek Bailey, Gato Barbieri, Daniel Barenboim, Kathleen Battle, David Byrne, Dr. John, Brian Eno, Melissa Etheridge, Stephen Kent, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Medeski Martin & Wood, Robert Palmer, Carlos Santana, Tim Sparks, Spyro Gyra, Sting, James Taylor, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yo-Yo Ma, and John Zorn. He has also played with many noted Brazilian artists such as Badi Assad, Ivan Lins, Marisa Monte, Milton Nascimento, Nana Vasconcelos and Caetano Veloso.

Baptista has performed on five Grammy award winning albums: Yo-Yo Ma’s Obrigado Brazil, Cassandra Wilson’s Blue Light 'Til Dawn, The ChieftainsSantiago, Ivan LinsA Love Affair, and Herbie Hancock’s Gershwin’s World. A documentary on Baptista’s project, Beat the Donkey, recorded for the WGBH-TV Boston program ‘La Plaza’, won 3 New England EMMY Awards in 2002.

Baptista appeared in Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel's 1990 documentary film on Fred Frith, Step Across the Border. He has also composed music for programs on the children's television network Nickelodeon.

Beat the Donkey[edit]

Baptista formed Beat the Donkey, a percussion and dance ensemble in 2002. The debut self-titled album Beat the Donkey (Tzadik) was picked by Jon Pareles of The New York Times as one of the ten best alternative albums of 2002.[1] Readers of JAZZIZ and DRUM magazine voted it as “Best Brazilian CD of the Year” and named him "Best Percussionist of 2002."[citation needed] Downbeat Magazine’s 51st annual critics’ poll selected Baptista as ‘Rising Star’ in percussion.[citation needed] The group released its second album, Love the Donkey on John Zorn's independent Tzadik record label in 2005.

Other solo releases[edit]

Baptista's first solo recording in 1997, Villa Lobos/Vira Loucos, is a mix of his own compositions with the work of the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. It was called "the most courageous, bright, funny, dramatic, and imaginative work in recent memory."[citation needed]

Blue Note Records released Supergenerous, a duo CD recorded with guitarist Kevin Breit (KD Lang, Cassandra Wilson). Billboard called Supergenerous "pure aural pleasure" and the Washington Post noted it "a marvelous debut that manages to feel outside and intimate at the same time."

Baptista conducts educational "rhythm workshops" in a variety of formats. He has provided presentations for a range of audiences, from elementary school children to professional musicians.

He has conducted workshops and master classes at numerous institutions throughout the world. These include Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA), The New School (New York City), Drummer's Collective (New York City), Mannes College of Music (New York City), New World Symphony Orchestra (Miami, FL) and Rimon School of Music (Tel-Aviv, Israel).

Awards[edit]

In 2009 Baptista won a Fellow Award in Music from United States Artists.[2]

Discography[edit]

Recordings as guest performer (by artist)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strauss, Neil (2003-01-08). "Tributaries to the Musical Mainstream". The New York Times. pp. E 1. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  2. ^ United States Artists Official Website

External links[edit]