man the stars call when they want that
otherworldly flavor in the mix…" -
Time Out New York
Since arriving in the U.S. in 1980 from his native country Brazil, Cyro
Baptista has emerged as one of the premier percussionists in the country.
Coinciding with the rise in the public’s interest of world music,
Cyro has managed to record and tour with some of music’s most popular
names. His mastery of Brazilian percussion and the many instruments he
creates himself, have catapulted him into world renown.
With his own project, the percussion and dance ensemble known as 'Beat
the Donkey' Cyro gives free reign to his imagination, mixing his tremendous
musical skills, his natural humor and theatrical ways with instruments
from Brazil, Middle East, Indonesia, Africa and US.
Cyro's credits read like a "Who’s Who" of modern music.
He toured extensively with Yo-Yo Ma's Brazil Project, Trey Anastasio's
Band (of Phish), John Zorn's Electric Masada, Herbie Hancock's Grammy
award winning "Gershwin’s World" , Sting and Paul Simon's "Rhythm
of the Saints".
The wide range of artists Cyro Baptista has
performed and recorded with include: David Byrne, Kathleen Battle,
Gato Barbieri, Dr. John, Brian Eno, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robert Palmer,
Melissa Etheridge, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, James Taylor, Carly
Simon, Michael Tilson Thomas, Daniel Barenboin, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton
Marsalis, Yo-Yo-Ma, Medeski Martin & Wood,
Spyro Gyra, Trey Anastasio from Phish, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Santana and
Sting. He has also played with many respected Brazilian artists such
as Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, Ivan Lins, Marisa Monte, and Nana
Downbeat Magazine -
"RISING STAR PERCUSSIONIST"
New York Times
Cyro Baptista's Beat The
Top 10 Alternative CD of 2002
Cyro Baptista's Beat The
Top 10 Global Music CD of 2002
Beat The Donkey
Emmy Award Winning Special
Top 10 instrumentalists
Best Jazz Percussionist (2002)
Best World Beat Percussionist (2003)
Cyro has performed on five Grammy award winning
albums: Yo-Yo-Ma’s "Obrigado
Brasil", Cassandra Wilson's "Blue Light 'Til Dawn", The
Chieftains' "Santiago", Ivan Lins' "A Love Affair",
and Herbie Hancockæs highly-acclaimed "Gershwin's World".
A documentary on Cyro's main project, Beat the Donkey, was recorded for
the prestigious WGBH-TV Boston program 'La Plaza' won 3 New England EMMY
Awards in 2002, and continues to air on PBS stations nationwide. Cyro
collaborated with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
for a Brazilian Carnaval modern jazz concert.
The first Beat the Donkey album, (TZADIK)
was picked by The New York Times as one of the ten best alternative
albums of 2002. Readers of JAZZIZ and DRUM magazine voted it as "Best Brazilian CD of the Year" and
named Cyro "Best Percussionist of 2002." Downbeat Magazine's
51st annual critics' poll selected Cyro as "Rising Star" in
Cyro' first solo recording, Villa Lobos/Vira
Loucos, a heady mix of his own compositions with the work of the brilliant
Brazilian composer Heitor Villa Lobos, has been acclaimed as "the
most courageous, bright, funny, dramatic, and imaginative work in recent
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."
Cyro has also been composing music for the children's television Nickelodeon.