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Join CYRO & Billy Martin summer percussion/drum camp!

A whole week of workshops, masterclasses, movies, performances, ensembles, swimming, hiking, eating and celebrating the JOY OF RHYTHM !

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Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington DC
November 13, 2015


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Lincoln Center Out of Doors
July 30th, 2015

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Come see Cyro Baptista and Sergio Krakowski at Barbes on May 30th

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Banquet of the Spirits w/ Nels Cline 11/2014

Click to download.
(PDF format)



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Banquet of the Spirits @ Pepperdine University Arts Center

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Banquet of the Spirits @ Village Vanguard 9/5/14

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Click to download.
(PDF format)



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omega photo

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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Click to download.
(PDF format)


Together they formed the Rock n' Soul Superjam!!!

Check out a short video of the show and stay tuned for the full versions coming out soon



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Banquet of the Spirits Europe Tour 2013

May 23, 2013 (Thu): Vienna, Austria - Sargfabrik
May 24, 2013 (Fri): SAALFELDEN, Austria
May 25, 2013 (Sat): CERKNO, Slovenia
May 26, 2013 (Sun): WEIZ, Austria - Kukuk
May 28, 2013 (Tue): Paris, France - La Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues
May 30, 2013 (Thu): Bergen, Norway - NattJazz
May 31, 2013 (Fri): Geneva, Switzerland - AMR Geneve

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Cyro Celebrates Zorn's 60th with Concerts Around the World!

Apr 06, 2013 (Sat): Minneapolis, MN
May 17, 2013 (Fri): Moers, Germany
May 19, 2013 (Sun): Victoriaville, Quebec
Jul 12, 2013 (Fri): London, England - Barbican
Jul 13, 2013 (Sat): Rotterdam, NL - North Sea Jazz Festival
Jul 14, 2013 (Sun): Gent, Belgium
Jul 15, 2013 (Mon): Warsaw, Poland
Jul 27, 2013 (Sat): San Sebastian, Spain - Heineken Jazzaldia
Aug 02, 2013 (Fri): Lisbon, Portugal
Sep 01, 2013 (Sun): New York, New York - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sep 07, 2013 (Sat): Paris, France - Cite de la Musique
Sep 15, 2013 (Sun): New York, New York - NYU's Kimmel Center
Sep 20, 2013 (Fri): New York, New York - Anthology Film Archives
Sep 21, 2013 (Sat): New York, New York - Anthology Film Archives
Sep 27, 2013 (Fri): New York, New York - Columbia University's Miller Theatre
Sep 29, 2013 (Sun): New York, New York - Le Poisson Rouge

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Cyro Back on the Road with The Trey Anastasio Band

Click to download.
(PDF format)

Apr 16, 2013 (Tue): Trey Anastasio Band Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
Apr 17, 2013 (Wed): Trey Anastasio Band Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Apr 19, 2013 (Fri): Trey Anastasio Band Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
Apr 20, 2013 (Sat): Trey Anastasio Band Oakland, CA - Fox Theater



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Cyro Blogs For Relix Magazine On The Road With Trey!

Im so thrilled to be back together with Trey and the band. Everything came together to be perfect with the timing of it! I returned from a month long tour of Brazil with three of my projects (Banquet of the Spirits, Beat The Donkey and Vira Locos). A few days later I was rehearsing with TAB at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. It was a whirlwind!!

We spent 3 long days rehearsing and going over everything. Im itching to get this music out on the road!! The new songs are amazing... very complex and intricate. And its so much fun to get back to playing those old ones again!

I cant wait to share pictures and thoughts with you all along the way! This is going to be a very special tour!


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Cyro returns to the road with The Trey Anastasio Band!!

Cyro gets back on the road Trey Anastasio!! Check them out in a city near you!!

10/18 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI
10/19 Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL
10/20 LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH
10/22 Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg, PA
10/23 The National, Richmond, VA
10/24 The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, MD
10/26 Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
10/27 Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA
10/28 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY

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Cyro Brings 3 of his Projects to Brazil!!

Vira Loucos: September 6 - Olinda, Pernambuco - Festival Mimo

Vira Loucos: September 10 - Sao Paulo - SESC Consolacao - Instrumental Brasil

Beat The Donkey: September 13 and 14 - Sao Paulo - SESC Pompeia Choperia with special guest BIXIGA 70! The hottest AFRO-BEAT Band in Brasil!

Banquet of the Spirits: September 18 - Rio de Janeiro - Espaco Tom Jobim

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Free concert on the spectacular Hudson River. Lincoln Harbor Park - Weehawken, New Jersey

Wednesday, August 15th at 7 PM

Cyro will bring Beat The Donkey to the Hudson River Waterfront with the NYC Skyline as a backdrop!

Bring you lawn-chairs or blankets and come enjoy a beautiful summer evening under the stars!!

For More Information, CLICK HERE!

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Cyro Featured Guest at the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's Annual Gala and Concert

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Cyro Named 2011 Percussionist of the Year

Cyro was recently named Downbeat Magazine's 2011 Percussionist of the Year and Rising Star of the Year in the same category! Click Here for the complete list of this years winners!!

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Series of Videos Featuring Music From CAYM

This is the first in a series of collaborative videos made between Cyro Baptista, Banquet of the Spirits and videographer Justin Bias that include a separate movie for each track on Caym.

From these videos, the listener can not only gain insight into the creative process, but also better understand the context behind each song! Check back here and on the Banquet of the Spirits Facebook Page for more videos and updates!!

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Banquet of the Spirits Invade Europe with CAYM

Click to download.
(PDF format)



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Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits - CAYM

Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits plays John Zorn's Masada Book 2

Featuring: Cyro Baptista Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz Tim Keiper Brian Marsella

Written in a flash of creativity during three months in late 2004, the 316 compositions in John Zornメs Book of Angels contain some of his most critically acclaimed works. Recorded by a wide variety of ensembles over the past seven years, Caym is the 17th album in the series. In this latest release, Zorn bestowed 12 previously un-recorded songs upon Banquet of the Spirits and left them in their able hands.

Caym is a musical journey ヨ an album that takes the listener from the favelas of Brazil to the deserts of Morocco to the Islands of Japan and everywhere in between. Each new track creates a unique landscape, capturing the true essence of the musical conquest the band embarks on. This album is, once again, a true realization of the guiding principles Cyro formed this band around ヨ the concept of 'Anthropofagia' or 'Cultural Cannibalism'.

As Zorn himself put it, 'This dynamic CD brings my lyrical compositions to life like never before.'

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Cyro Baptista's Vira Loucos Plays Cantiga

Click to download.
(PDF format)

This footage was shot on a tour following CYRO BAPTISTA'S VILLA-LOBOS/VIRA-LOUCOS project!

This adventure is in fact Cyro's oldest and first project: it is based on his debut solo CD , recorded in 1997, where he interprets the music of Brazil's greatest classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Cyro's unique arrangements and unprecedented take on Villa's music, led to the play of words Villa-Lobos/Vira Loucos - meaning "Villa-Lobos Turned Crazy". In the original CD notes, Cyro asks forgiveness to the composer: "As for Villa, if he turns over in his grave and throws up dust, Iメm sorry. He is a dead genius. I am a live idiot"

The tour included the following stops:

Oct 13, 2010: New York City's Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall.

Oct 14, 2010: Hampton, VA - The American Theatre/Hampton Arts
Oct 15, 2010: Richmond, VA - Modlin Center at The University of Richmond
Oct 17, 2010: Warm Springs, VA - Garth Newel Music Center
Oct 26, 2010: Austin, TX - Texas Performing Arts Center

Vira Loucos is:
Cyro Baptista (Percussion & Vocals)
Romero Lubambo (Acoustic Guitar)
Kevin Breit (Electric Guitar & Banjo)
Michael Ward-Bergeman (Hyper-Accordion)
Vanessa Falabella (Vocals)
Tim Keiper (Drums & Percussion)
Shanir Blumenkranz (Upright Bass)
Brian Marsella (Piano)



::: :::
The Sound of Community Project!!!

The Sound of the Community is an a project of true inclusion led by Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Justin Bias and Eleonora Alberto.

Imagine a performance involving professional musicians, children, teenagers, senior citizens, adults with developmental disabilities, and physically challenged individuals performing choreography in their wheelchairs.

A performance where no more emphasis would be placed on Yo-Yo Maメs Stradivarius Cello as would be placed on pizzicato rubber bands and balloon bassoons.

Imagine an opportunity for an adult living with developmental disabilities to play an instrument he or she built from scratch as part of a full production on a stage with lights in front of an audience.

Click Here to Donate and Help Us to Make This a Reality!! ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!

Every bit helps! Please contribute what you can! Any amount over our goal goes to fund further workshops!!

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Cyro Baptista's Villa Lobos/Vira Loucos Tour

CYRO BAPTISTA is proud to announce his upcoming shows and his newest adventure, VILLA-LOBOS/VIRA-LOUCOS.

This newest adventure is in fact his oldest and first project: it is based on his debut solo CD , recorded in 1997, where he interprets the music of Brazil's greatest classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Cyro's unique arrangements and unprecedented take on Villa's music, led to the play of words Villa-Lobos/Vira Loucos - meaning "Villa-Lobos Turned Crazy". In the original CD notes, Cyro asks forgiveness to the composer: "As for Villa, if he turns over in his grave and throws up dust, Iメm sorry. He is a dead genius. I am a live idiot"

The first concert will be on October 13, at New York City's Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall.

Throughout this tour, Cyro will be celebrating his birthday and his 30th anniversary of being a New Yorker. The band is composed by many of the favorite musicians that have been so "instrumental" to his music throughout his career.

Romero Lubambo - Acoustic Guitar
Kevin Breit - Electric Guitar/Banjo
Tim Keiper - Drums
Michael Ward-Bergeman - Hyper-Accordion
Shanir Blumenkranz - Upright Bass
Vanessa Falabella - Vocals

and last, but not least, very special guest John Zorn.

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Cyro Baptista's Beat The Donkey plays for Kids at the Knitting Factory!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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Banquet of the Spirits Join Forces with Artist Nate Duval for
Limited Edition Europe Tour Poster!

Nate Duval is a rising star in design world. We're so lucky that he embraced us into his world! His collaborations with bands such as Phish, Wilco, Gomez, Keller Williams and many more have earned him the highest praises within music community! We were so impressed by his work, we commissioned him to come up with a poster design for our tour of Europe. After taking the time to really get to know the band's music and familiarizing himself with the concept of 'anthropofagia' - Nate came up with this amazing design!

Click Here to see the poster and get more info!!

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Banquet of the Spirits Invade Europe!!

The Banquet of the Spirits will be heading over to Europe for a very special run of shows this spring!! Conquering 10 countries and playing 13 shows over the course of a month!

The band will be playing festivals, arts centers and some of the most famous music clubs in the world! Please come out to join us on this very special tour - we'd love to see you!

Help us pack these shows so we can come visit more often!!

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DIY Website Reviews the Show: Cyro Baptista, Le Poisson Rouge, NY

Cyro Baptistaメs show begins with an eerie whirring noise, generated by flexible tubes spun by the ten or twelve members of his band Beat The Donkey. Baptista enters slowly, dressed in a flamboyant wizardly robe, and begins intoning chant-like syllables into the microphone. After a few seconds, the lights go up and the show starts in earnest, with Baptista and his band delivering their trademark blend of exuberant silliness and percussive virtuosity. Even without the wizard robe, though, Baptista comes off less as a bandleader and more as a Puckish magical spirit, marshaling the fantastical forces of his minions with glee and caprice.

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Beat The Donkey NYC Record Release Party!!!

Click to download.
(PDF format)

November 14th - Le Poisson Rouge

This very special concert is part of John Zornメs Tzadik Label Mini Festival! Along with Beat The Donkey will be EDOM & WOLLESONIC!!

Click Here for more information on this show or to purchase tickets!!



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Infinito is available today, but the only way to get a the bonus disc and have your CD signed by Cyro is to order though the site!!

The Bonus Disc includes the newly recorded and never before been released song "Paramaribo" featuring all the members of Beat The Donkey

Act now and order while supplies last!


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Cyro's new album INFINITO in stores July 28th

INFINITO is the highly anticipated follow up to the critically acclaimed self titled debut album by Cyro's newest project - BANQUET OF THE SPIRITS.

As you know, this project includes three of the fastest rising stars in the "downtown music" scene: Brian Marsella on keyboards and melodica (Beat The Donkey & Matisyahu), Shanir Blumenkanz on bass and oud (Pharaoh's Daughter) and Tim Keiper on drumset (Beat The Donkey & Vieux Farka Tour←) make up the core band.

There's a special for the first 100 pre-ordered CDs!! Order yours now through the website and you will be the first to receive the CD when it is released!!

CLICK HERE for more information this very special!!

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New Yo Yo Ma Holiday Album features Cyro

Last June, Cyro went into the studio to record on Yo Yo Ma's Holiday album. The track featured the legendary Dave Brubeck on piano and his son Matt Brubeck on cello.

The 4 musicians recorded Matt Brubeck's arrangement of Concordia - one of the highlights on an album that is truly great from start to finish.

Yo Yo Ma and Friend's "Songs of Joy and Peace" is out now on Sony Records!

You can watch a clip of the recording process here:

Click here for more information and photos!!

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Cyro featured in the new Jonathan Demme film "Rachel Getting Married"

Cyro is in the new movie Rachel Getting Married, directed by Jonathan Demme.
Along side Cyro are Beat The Donkey's Ze Mauricio, Cabello Rolim and Lisette Santiago playing percussion. In addition, the Samba Band featured dancers Michelle Clay and Silvana Magda.

Cyro and Beat The Donkey can also be found on the soundtrack with an original composition for the movie entitled "Samba for Shiva".

The soundtrack is out now on Lakeshore Records and the film is in theatres!!

Click here for photos and the trailer!!

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Cyro Celebrates Yuka Honda's Birthday at Joe's Pub

Saturday night, Cyro played as part of Yuka Honda's birthday celebration at Joe's Pub. Also on the bill was: Sean Lennon, Yuko Araki, Hirotaka "Shimmy" Shimizu, Cyro Baptista, Doug Wieselman, Money Mark, Shahzad Ismailey, Dougie Bowne, Jeff Hills & Michael Leonhart! Cyro sang a soulful rendition of "I Put a Spell On You" and played throughout the evening on other tunes. Click here for some photos from the night taken by Eleonora Alberto!!

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"Water is Life" film features music perfomed by Cyro

Cyro recorded original compositions by the amazing Aya Nishina for a film being shown at the California Academy of Sciences. The film focuses on the importance of water to our planet.

The Water Planet exhibit is designed to be infinitely flexible. Dozens of tanks, from five to 5,000 gallons in size, contain an ever-changing variety of fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. Once an hour, the lights go down inside the tanks, the room transforms into a 360-degree projection theater, and visitors are immersed in a five-minute film about the most precious resource on the planet: water.

Click here for more information and to watch the film!!

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Cyro Fall Tour with Banquet of the Spirits!

Cyro and Banquet will be making their way across the country then down the west coast and finishing up in Mexico for a full tour this November!!

Tour Dates:
Wednesday, November 5, Fontana Chamber Arts, Kalamazoo, MI
Thursday, November 6, The Concert Hall at Columbia College, Chicago, IL
Friday, November 7, Earshot Jazz Festival at Triple Door, Seattle, WA
Monday, November 10, Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA
Tuesday, November 11, Yoshi's, Oakland, CA
Saturday, November 15, Antropology, Mexico City, Mexico

Some of the shows will include workshops allowing audiences to get up close and personal with Cyro and the band! Check the "Shows and Events" page for more info!

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Cyro on Afropop Worldwide!

Cyro was interviewed for a radio broadcast entitled "The Brazilian Diaspora in the United States". You can hear his interview as well as interviews with many other prominent Brazilian/American artists streaming online.

Click Here to Listen to the Show Online!!

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Beat The Donkey Notes From The Road

Seriously, our experience in Quebec was near the highest level of BTD being. Great shows, amazing stage, incredible crew, enthusiastic audiences, and near impenetrable border patrol. I can't believe that Canada has my report card from the 7th grade. You we're right mom, there really is such a thing as a permanent record. Stay in school kids!

- Clay

For photos and to read the rest of Clay's post click here!!

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Cyro Plays with Bobby McFerrin and Richard Bona

Cyro played at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The performance was hailed as an unbelievable success.. It was one of the highlights of the whole festival!! Click here to watch a clip of the performance!!
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Cyro in Aspen with The Aspen Chamber Symphony

It is such an incredible honor for me to be a solo percussionist on Osvaldo Gulief composition Azul.

Amongst all the variety of music situations that I lived during my career, to play with a symphonic orchestra it is ultimate experience for me.

Azul is a jorney through a intergalatic story full of spirit and joy

- Cyro

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Supergenerous Plays Rochester Jazz Festival

Cyro, Kevin and Ian played 2 sold out shows at The Rochester Jazz Festival this past weekend.

Go to the following link and click on Cyro's face to watch a piece documenting the performance!!

Click on this link to get an idea of how amazing these shows were!!

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New Album From Cyro Baptista's Banquet of the Spirits OUT NOW!!

Cyro fronts a new quartet on this release featuring keyboardist Brian Marsella (Beat The Donkey), bassist and oud player Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (John Zorn, Charles Gayle) and drummer Tim Keiper (Vieux Farka Tour←, Beat The Donkey). The album also includes standout guest appearances by longtime collaborator and executive producer John Zorn, cellist Eric Friedlander and Gnawa vocalist Hassan Ben Jaffar. A modern day global jazz pioneer, Baptista presents eight far-reaching original compositions and three renditions of classic songs written by Don Cherry and late sitarist/tabla player Collin Walcott.

The album is out now on Tzadik Records!


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Cyro goes for a Cruise!!

Join Cyro on board Jam Cruise 7. Cyro has been invited to be a special guest on a floating music festival - heading to Belize and Mexico January 4-9, 2008.
Visit www.jamcruise.com today.

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Cyro and the Band are On The Road in IOWA!!

Cyro and BTD have been rocking every corner of IOWA for the past 2 weeks (and will continue to do so)!! The first leg of the tour has been a tremendous success and rave reviews have been coming from each stop. We though we'd share some of those comments and photos with you all!!


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Cyro with Paul Simon Under African Skies

Cyro played a whole week of shows at The Brooklyn Academy of Music with Paul Simon.

This was part of Simon's career retrospective which spanned over 3 weeks at the venue!

The show, entitled "Under African Skies" was an amazing show and featured special guests including Cyro, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Vusi Mahlasela, Luciana Souza, David Byrne and of course - Paul's amazing backing band!

Cyro was so excited and honored to share the stage with his old friends and bandmates including: Steve Gadd, Jamie Haddad, Vincent Nguini,Tony Cedras, Mark Stewart, Jay Ashby, Bakithi Kumalo

Click here to see a photo and read some reviews!!

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Cyro, Jason Miles, DJ Logic and many more make some Global Noize

Jason Miles and DJ Logic created an Intoxicating Brew of Jazz, Electronica Funk and World Music Featuring Some of Musicメs Most Creative Players: Meshell Ndegeocello, Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood) , Vernon Reid (Living Colour), John Popper (Blues Traveler), Bernie Worrell (Talking Heads, Parliament Funk), Karl Denson (Karl Densonメs Tiny Universe, Lenny Kravtiz), Christian Scott & more.

The album is out now and you can catch different incarnations of this band somewhere you!!

Check out the Global Noize myspace page and add them to your friends!!


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Cyro and John Zorn have been very busy...

In the past 2 months, Cyro has played with Zorn on 3 continents, on 3 tzadik releases and they're just getting started!!

John Zorn released 2 albums in the last 2 months that feature Cyro on percussion.

The first of these albums is a new project called "The Dreamers". This project features Cyro, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, Kenny Wollesen and John Zorn. The group premiered the album live as part of a 2 night run at Brooklyn's St. Anne's Warehouse. They then took show to Israel and Spain. The tour was hailed as an unbelievable success.

Next, Zorn released the first new Bar Kokhba album in over 10 years - Lucifer: Book of Angels Vol. 10. In Bar Kokhba, Cyro is along side Joey Baron, Greg Cohen, Mark Feldman, Erik Friedlander and Marc Ribot.

Click Here for video from the tour!!

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Beat The Donkey - 10 Year Anniversary Show

Beat The Donkey celebrated its 10 year anniversary at the Abrons Arts Center in NYC's Lower East Side!

The show was an AMAZING success! Onstage, the band's energy was off the charts. Special guests only added fuel to that fire! Anat Cohen and Carlos Darci supplied the horn section.. Max Pollak spent most of the night on stage with the band adding tap, percusion and a touch of humor!

Towards the end of the night, the audience was treated to the ESA Samba Crew - a percussion ensemble made up of amazingly talented young people from NYC's ESA school!

Thank you's are in order to everyone involved in this production... but MOST OF ALL, thank you to our AMAZING audience who helped us celebrate this milestone!

You came out in droves and helped us to sell out the Abrons center!!

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More Radio with Cyro

Cyro was on Fair Game to discuss his music, and his latest album, Banquet of the Spirits.

You can catch the whole show streaming online here!!

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Cyro on WNYC - New York Public Radio

You can listen to Cyro in studio with David Garland on his show Ear to Ear. Click here to go to listen to the streaming audio of this interview!!
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Clay Reflects on Another Successful BTD Summer Tour!

Stuffed like a Turkey on Thanksgiving

Now, after another amazing summer of BTD touring, I find myself with a moment to reflect. So much music, so many cities, and so many drums. And then, there is the surdo. Ahh the surdo. How I love the surdo. I've experienced no joy as pure as when pounding the surdo. No matter how many hours we've spent driving, Cracker Barrels we've indulged, or roadside motels we've endured, there was always the Surdo. The surdo rocked Chicago, the surdo rocked Kentucky, the surdo rocked Urbana, Decatur and Cleveland. The surdo rocked the White House! And even if no one ever fixes the brain of the President and no one ever gives Cyro a flip flop endorsement, there will still be the surdo. When I play the surdo, I'm Stuffed like a Turkey on Thanksgiving.

Thanks everyone in Chicago, Urbana, Crystal Lake, Arlington, South Boston, Decatur, Huntington, Sherman, Cleveland, Reno, New Haven, Corning, and Louisville for a spectacular, surdo stuffed, summer. Hope to see you all again soon!



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Podcast Featuring Cyro!

Cyro was interviewed for a podcast called "Jazz Instinct" hosted by Wills and Drew. Take a listen to the podcast streaming online! You can visit the site at: Podcast
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Cyro Awarded 2007 Percussionist of the Year!!

Cyro was awarded the title of "2007 Percussionist of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association. Voting members of the JJA, a non-profit professional organization, cited Cyro as 2007's top percussionists.
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"Jazz Around the World" - Summer School

Cyro will be teaching at the "Jazz Around the World" Summer School this summer. The program includes nine days of full immersion into the exciting city of Rotterdam: education, playing, concerts, and the largest Jazz festival in Europe...it?s all part of the package! For more information on the program - Click Here
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Supergenerous at The Jazz Standard

The Jazz Standard in NYC is about to become a little more generous this June. Fresh off laying down tracks for their new album, Cyro and Kevin are playing a two night stint at one of Manhattan's premeir jazz venues - The Jazz Standard. They will be joined by bassist Ian de Sousa. This is a very special performance, so make your reservations early!! They will be playing 2 sets each night: 7:30 and 9:30PM
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Cyro and Billy just finished up a second round of workshops! The workshops were a terrific success. Everyone involved learned and grew immensly from the experience. An amazing time was had by everyone involved. Look for more workshops with these two in the future!!
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Cyro, "In His Own Words"

6 months back, Cyro sat down with David Schulman, the creator and producer of "Musicians in Their Own Words". Click here to read more about it!!
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CYRO and BILLY Workshops - Round 2

A New Round of Exotic Rhythms Percussion Workshops with Billy Martin & Cyro Sign Up Early - Space Will Fill Up Very Quickly For more information, CLICK HERE!!
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Back by Popular Demand: SUPERGENEROUS!!

On a recent trip to Toronto, Cyro met up with his good friend - guitarist Kevin Breit. Cyro and Kevin got to playing and pretty soon they were in the studio recording their second album together as SUPERGENEROUS. The recording session was a fantastic success and the finishing touches are being put on the new album right now.
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Beat The Donkey - Back on the Road

Cyro and the crew will be back on the road this Spring!! On the tour page - you can see the beginings of our spring/summer itinerary!! Check back often - we will be filling our summer tour dates in the coming weeks! Come check out BEAT THE DONKEY in a town near you!!! Click Here for a video to hold you over in the meantime!!
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Click to download.
(PDF format)



::: :::
Cyro Visits The Corning Museum of Glass

Cyro took a trip to visit the folks at The Corning Museum of Glass. While at The Museum, Cyro met George Kennard who blew him an Udu drum. Cyro was inspired to make a song and video in response to George's creation. This is the begining of an ongoing colaboration. Cyro and Beat The Donkey will be performing at the museum in the spring!!! Click here to watch the video!
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I Love This Country...US and A

Between Borat, Chapelle's Show, The Daily Show, Spinal Tap, and Chris Rock's "Bigger Blacker," there was more than enough comedy fodder for the Donkeys on this last tour.
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Cyro on YouTube.com

Cyro and Wynton Marsalis on YouTube at the Bethel Woods Jazz Festival! Check back on YouTube.com for more clips coming soon!!
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The Baptista Effect - Music and Spirit Reaching New Heights

By the end of this last string of dates with BTD, all agreed that the band had reached a new musical level. Personally, I can measure my own growth through a deeper understanding of our leader and his concept. Cyro is a storyteller and a vehicle for sonic images. He doesn't want to complicate, impress, or confuse; he wants share, inspire, and connect.
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Summer Tour Recap!!

Here are some wonderful emails we received from our fans when we got home from our latest tour! We always love to hear from all of you!! There are also some photos from the summer tour! Enjoy!!
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::: :::
Cyro sits in with Wynton Marsalis

On July 23rd, Beat The Donkey played The Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center. This is the location of the original Woodstock Festival. It is a beautiful piece of land where they've built a top of the line new amphitheater. The bill included Chris Botti, Diane Reeves, and Wynton Marsalis. The groups were all full of incredible musicians!
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::: :::
Exotic Rhythm Workshop with Billy and Cyro

Billy Martin and Cyro Baptista are conducting another 2 day, hands-on workshop starting with basic rhythms, moving into more complex patterns, encouraging students to develop their perception and musical intuition.

This is a creative music workshop using various 'exotic' percussion instruments. Students will improvise as a group and encourage individuals to solo within each piece of music. Instruments provided by Cyro and Billy.

Location: Cyro's house in Tenafly - NJ, 1/2 hour bus ride from George Washington Bridge (175th Street/Broadawy, NYC), 35 minute bus ride from Port Authority, 10 minutes by car from GW Bridge.

Dates: July 26 and July 31. Space is limited to 10 students - 2 days - $200. 2:00 - 3:30 pm each day. To make a reservation: email billy@amuletrecords.com or cyro@cyrobaptista.com

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::: :::

Since I started playing with Herbie, I have never seen him work as hard as he did for this concert. Herbie was a true warrior and was very courageous to put together this stellar group of musicians from scratch. Many of us had never played together and some of the songs - especially the ones from the Possibilities CD - were played for the first time ever.
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::: :::
"ALL ABOUT JAZZ" magazine has recently reviewed Beat The Donkey's latest album - "LOVE THE DONKEY".

Reviewer Sean Patrick Fitzell says, "A panoply of percussion erupts from "Love the Donkey" as Cyro Baptista and his merry troupe of percussionists and special guests unleash fourteen tracks of manic energy and irrepressible fun. It serves as an effective antidote to overly cerebral and self-consciously serious music."
  MORE >>


::: Photos :::
Keith Widyolar photographs BTD's performance at Coda in New York City

Check out Keith's amazing photos at his ModaFoto web site.

ModaFoto covers some of the hottest Art, Fashion and Entertainment in New York City and around the world. We don't cover everything and you probably won't see what happened last night in ModaFoto, but we do get up close and personal with some of the amazing people creating art, fashion, and entertainment in our world today.

Editor in Chief Keith Widyolar is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in many international media including Harper's Bazaar (America), Elle (America), Jalouse (France), Visionaire (New York), Fashionoffice (Austria), and Glamurama (Brazil). Keith is the house photographer for Geov?, a Brazilian fashion designer based in New York and works with Voice of the Streets Brazil, a project to utilize performing arts to provide hope and empowerment to the youth of Brazil.   MORE >>


::: Album News :::
Grammy Award Nomination: Gelo Na Montanha

Cyro's collaboration with Herbie Hancock and Trey Anastasio was nominated for a Grammy at this years awards.

The track is on Herbie's "Possibilities" album. Entitled Gelo Na Montanha and featuring Trey Anastasio on guitar, the song was nominated in the Best Pop Instrumental Performance category. This marks the first time the three musicians - Cyro, Herbie and Trey - have composed a piece together. "Gelo Na Montanha most exemplifies the creative possibilities of a collaborative project like Possibilities."   MORE >>


::: News From The Road :::
Notes From Cyro - February 5, 2006

Back from Middle East after two weeks of high voltage emotions and too much work.

I went to Tel Aviv with Eleonora to participate in the Broza Five: David Broza - guitar/voice; Jay Beckenstein - Saxofone (Spyro Gyro); Julio Hernandes - Guitar (Spyro Gyro); Francisco Centeno - Bass (Aretha Franklin); and myself.

During all that was happening, I kept coming back every night after the concerts and watch CNN explode in my hotel TV showing the result of the elections in Palestine between Hamas and Fatah. People with the masks and machine guns jumping and shouting on the streets... just like carnaval in Rio de Janeiro without the biquinis, obviously.

Then, after the last show, David told us that we had been invited to go to East Jerusalem to play and record with Palestinian musicians in a Palestinian recording studio. To tell you the truth, me Eleonora and the other musicians got really scared, especially knowing that all the confusion and disillusion was happening just a few blocks from the studio. Well, the production assured us that it would be cool to go there and next morning we showed up there and to our surprise we were received so well by our host Said Murad and family, that immediately I felt like home, drinking a lot of arab coffe, barbecue, laughs and more important the most incredible music. Our host Said Didn?t take long for me Jay, Francisco and Julio find out that they were very accomplished musicians (see their web site: www.sabreen.org). All of them besides playing amazing percussion also play the Oud.

For me it was a very deep experience and renewed my belief that music is a very powerful tool for the process of peace in the world. At the same time that we were making music, knowing each other and exchanging our cultures, Israelis and Palestinians around us just get together to hate and kill witch other.

After that and visiting Masada the next day, me and Eleonora separated from group and kept traveling to the south to Eilat and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.   MORE >>


::: News From The Road :::
Notes From Cyro - January 13, 2006

I ran past coconuts, biquinis and the smell of salt, jumped into the transparent waters of Arpoador in Ipanema , in and out of the water, quickly to the Rio de Janeiro Airport. I was so tired that I felt asleep right away when I got inside the plane.

Buummm.... woke up with the impact of the landing, opened the little window of the plane and everything was white, "snowing heavy in NY". I went straight to the Apollo Theater in Harlem to rehearse with Herbie Hancock and Sting for the ABC's Good Morning America. The band is amazing with Steve Jordan on drums, John Patituchi on bass and Lionel Loueke on guitar.(vide photo) Life is Beautifully!

Next was an incredible night with Makigami (throat singer from Japan) at the Stone in the East-Village. First as a duo, then we were joined by Ikue Mori (computer samples) and John Zorn (neuro-romantic sax). See video of Cyro and Makigami in Tokyo 2005

I am learning, or better, I am trying to learn how to use ProTools. It has been so hard and I hope I am not too much of a 3rd world person, so I can learn and work with it in my next record that is starting to take shape.

Christmas, and is time for the Broza Five at 92nd Street Y. It is the tenth anniversary of this show on Christmas night. David Broza, our beloved leader, played guitar and sang better than ever, Francisco Centeno on bass, Julio on guitar and Jay Beckestein on soprano. It was a sold out crowd and was a preparation for our trip to Israel by January.

New Years was very intense. Playing the New Year's Eve concert at Tonic with Electric Masada on 31st, then Mike Patton, Bill Laswell and Zorn on the 1st. I survived!!!

I finished my participation acting on the feature film "Across the Universe" directed by Julie Taymor. I did Mr.Kite's scene. With this stupid costume (a cymbal on my head, a bass drum on my back and a snare) I look more like a Brazilian old monkey. I am sure nobody will recognize me. Hours and hours of waiting, but is going to be an incredible movie about Beatles songs.

Happy New Year for you all with a lot of the things that you like the most. Cyro   MORE >>


::: Album News :::
Blue Note Re-releases "Supergenerous"!

Kevin Breit and Cyro Baptista were responsible for a lot of the sound and feel of Cassandra Wilson's breakthrough recordings for Blue Note, Blue Light 'Til Dawn and New Moon Daughter. Blue Note signed them to record a CD where they would improvise and find their mutual language. The result is a meeting of two like-minded souls, from two opposite hemispheres, who reinvent North America's country, jazz, folk and funk in their own wild and adventurous image.

Their roots are in Cyro's Sao Paulo, Brazil and Kevin's small town Canada, but their style is too global to be local and too intimate to be strictly urban. This music isn't world, pop, or rock, or folk, or jazz. It's just music: fun, creative and absolutely fascinating!

Kevin Breit (pronounced: bright) is last year's winner of the "Toronto Musician Of The Year" award. Kevin's tremendous ability on all things stringed, combined with his knowledge of harmony, give him a unique compositional voice. Kevin was one of Norah Jones' "Handsome Band" member and his song "Humble Me" is featured on her newest album "Feels Like Home". Among the varied artists that seek his innovative guitar style are Bill Frisell, k.d. lang and Holly Cole. With the Sisters Euclid, one of his projects, he has recorded six CDs, and maintains a weekly residency at the Orbit Room, one of Toronto Canada's most prestigious jazz clubs. Kevin plays acoustic guitar, tenor guitars, electric slide guitar, hashville steel guitar, guitorgan, mandolin, mandolo, mandicello.

Cyro and Kevin worked from the concept that they would make music for a film that didn't exist. Not that it would be a soundtrack, but the music would dictate a scene. The listener creates their own individual movie while listening to the music.   MORE >>


::: News From The Road :::
Notes From Cyro - November 30, 2005

Music, Wine, Alaska and MMW: We got started in San Francisco, I was very happy to be reunited with Paula Robison and Romero Lubambo, the concert was for a sold out crowd at the Herbst Theatre and we played the repertoire from the 2 cds we had done before, BRASILEIRINHO and RIO DAYS , RIO NIGHTS. After that, we headed to Alaska and lived a very peculiar adventure, given concerts at Kodiak (three thousand bears) and Fairbanks, and we froze our asses up to the Arctic Circle.

Back to California, more concerts in Santa Rosa and is curious how Romero looks like wine, more old, better he gets. Sometimes it gets scary, he is playing better than ever. Paula also played her flute just like the best wines of the Napa Valley.

I came back home and went straight to the MMW Halloween stravaganza I was really tired but the energy at the Harmstein was up there and I had no choice. Medesky had an amazing costume with many arms and two faces. When we got to the middle of the performance we had dancers began flying over our heads. It was amazing! At the end Kenny Wollesen came with his incredible parade from the other planet band and took over the all situation

I Left My berimbau in San Francisco...

After staying 2 days and do reharsals with BTD and Maracatu I went to back to San Francisco to participate on the event "3 drops of blood" where I performed a solo and gave a workshop. It is getting harder and harder to travel with my percussion instruments. They weigh, they measure and make my life a living hell. I payed $80, just for checking a piece of wood from my berimbau. I think just big productions will be able to afford the transportation of my percussion and I can't forsee a solution any time soon.

Finally, 4 days of recording:

We went back to Bear Tracks and laydown a mean track with 10 maracatu players under the supervison of Scott Kettner. We use a rabeca, pifaros, melodica and a heavy artilliary of alfaias. Next day we started with a duo of Romero and I and end with full BTD recording a new song called Paramaribo. Third day was the first 5 recording with Antropo-fagia.

After all that, my last recording of Piper Opssum was grueling but came out great. I ran to the airport with Eleonora and came to Brasil where I am right now.   MORE >>


::: News From The Road :::
Notes From The Band - September 27, 2005

From Cyro: Probably this was one of top five BTD tours.The music was slaming and the food amazing.

University of Richmond was a sold out and they added another show, a really beautiful place, Allice Jepson theater. Also we gave three workshops Rythm Awareness, Maracatu and BTD Experience. Thanks to our friends Kathy Panoff and Jason Stanyek.

We traveled six hours to Asheville to play at the Orange Pea, one of the best clubs in the US. We are really lucky because that was the 3rd time we play there and the third time that people go bananas.

It always a pleasure to stay in Charleston and this time was no different, great workshop and concert at the College of Charleston.

We met Quentin Baxter, a teacher at the music dept. and without a doubt one of the finest drummers and chess player I ever met http://www.quentinbaxter.com/

Knoxville's Autumn in the Park, five thousand people watching, was a slam donkey. After the show we ran to the beautiful Tennessee Theatre and still got see Roy Haynes set, enough for us to learn one thing or two on how to be a classy musician.

Big presentation on Durham Theater great production from Al Newson from Blue Brasil at the beautiful Carolina Theatre and workshop at the Explorer's Museum. See: www.bluebrazilgallery.com

Norfolk very intense. Seriously I think the cities that are military bases are the ones who really need to be bombarded with music and arts in general. Specially now.



"Never bring a hotdog to the banquet." - Cyro Baptista

This is one of the many little bits of wisdom that I've collected since joining Beat the Donkey in July of '05. Luckily, on our last tour, there were no hotdogs in sight and the banquet was a never ending bounty of celebration. Our time in the South was affectionately dubbed "The Eating Tour" because in addition to sharing our music with beautiful people in beautiful venues, we also ate like Greek Gods. It started in Richmond where the greenroom spread included salmon, portobello mushrooms, pastas and desserts. In Asheville (the fine dining anchor of our tour) we enjoyed venerable vegetarian vittles at both the Laughing Seed and Rosetta's Kitchen. My mom, who never disappoints, was armed to the teeth with chicken pot pie, vegetable soup, and Georgia peaches sweet enough to make you moan. On the way to Charleston, the ever classy Ricky Mullohand invited us to his fine southern establishment, Mr. Friendly's. There Cyro started his relentless campaign for Crab Cakes and the band settled on the only adjective that truly defined the meal, "orgasmic." In Charleston, Meritage reopened the late night kitchen to kick our asses with some Pan Seared Tuna and in Knoxville we enjoyed an amazing meal in Old Town. As if all of this weren't enough, the true decadence came in Raleigh, where we indulged in three of the most stellar meals of the tour. Here, we sampled Brazilian Salmon, cheese breads, salads, black bean crab cake crepes, crab cake sushi, shrimp and grits, steak medallions, spicy quesadilla's, and finally a white wash of middle eastern flavors. We ate all of this and more before heading to Norfolk where we enjoyed a beautiful flounder, salads, and rice at Station 12. Unfortunately, the eating tour had to come to an end, but not before one last high note that stayed very true to our theme. The crab and crab cake sandwiches in Maryland were truly divine. Thanks to everyone in the band and on the road for making this a great tour, for making sure we never ate hotdogs, and for sharing the banquet with me. C'est Magnifique!

Clay Ross www.clayross.com


The simplicity of what we do can be overwhelming to who don't see how simple life can be...be on beat the donkey is a constant reminder of that...



They say it's never as good as the first time, but something tells me that my first Donkey tour is just the beginning of many wonderful experiences to come. I have learned a lot from the others in the band and have enjoyed the opportunity to share my talents alongside a bunch of gifted musicians. The hospitable people who put up with our quirky dispositions, the orgasmic food, tasty red wine, entertaining stories told by Cyro and the commune with the "largest North American man-made lake" found in Anderson, South Carolina, has made this tour one for the books. An especially warm shout out to Clay's mom who is as sweet and pretty as a bell(e); Jason in Richmond; tiny dancer and Brian in Knoxville; Al and family and the whole gang in Durham, NC; and finally Ned , Jonathan, Steven, Lindsey and Nicole out in Norfolk. You guys are definitely etched in my memories of this tour. I hope to see you all soon.



HEADLINE: "Beat the Donkey, aka. Cyro and the Sub-pars, Dines Extravagantly, Desecrates the Capitol of the South, Crashes into Charleston, and otherwise reaks beautiful havoc in the land of grits and southern hospitality."

A seriously good time was had by all members of BTD. Our first tour with Cyro, Tim, Ze, Chicako, Lisette, and Clay... gotta love the Donkeys. You're all such sweet people. And clinically insane. We have the pictures to prove it, thanks to Clay being the picture monger he is! Everybody pulled together to make the tour so smooth. Thanks especially to Omi, and Scott who played with us in Richmond. Thanks to Ele, for practically doing everything and Cyro for being Cyro. Thanks to all members of BTD and those who helped us. It's so much belly-hurtin' fun playing with BTD in the land of Dixie! I know this will be known as the "BTD Eating Tour" and yes, the food was great, but I'll remember us all going off the top rope...well, almost all of us!...

Brian Marsella

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::: News From The Road :::
Notes From Cyro - August 31, 2005

Yesterday I woke up early and went to Starbucks, to buy Herbie Hancock's new cd "Possibilities". Yes, it has no record company, and it is distributed by Starbucks, I think this cd is a ground breaking event just for that, and shows that Herbie is a man with a lot of courage and balls of steel.

The cd is a parade of big names, and I appear on three cuts with Sting, Paul Simon and Trey Anastasio. But what really inflated my ego, was that on the song Gelo na Montanha, I was listed as a composer together with Herbie and Trey. I am not worth it... I am not worth it...

Last week I recorded probably for the last time at Beartrack. It was Spyro Gyro's cd. I was happy to be recording, and at the same time sad because Jay Beckstein is selling the studio. I am talking about one of he most beautiful studios that I ever worked at, a castle made of big rocks in the middle of the woods. The main room with a really high ceiling. Sometimes I wonder that maybe the next generation of musicians are never going to have the opportunity of recording in amazing studios like that anymore, they are all closing very fast. For now on just basements or garages. Viva ProTools!!!

Last Thursday I did Miles to Miles at the Makor. The drummer was animal, Josh Dion, and on sax, a long time I don't see friend Aaron Heick. This Friday I will be with DJ True on a Alma production

BTD preparing for the South Tour, some new songs.   MORE >>


::: News From The Road :::
Notes From Cyro - August 20, 2005

Back from Marciac in France, where I played with Winton Marsalis. It was an amazing experience to play with an orchestra and especially with Herlin Riley, one of my favorite drummers (Fishman's also).

The music composed by Moacir Santos was hard to learn, but the result was very rewarding. Playing in the orchestra were musicians from France, Brasil and USA.

Already recorded 10 new segments for Nickelodeon's Piper Opossum, with engineer Jeffrey Lesser. If you have kids, Piper is being shown everyday on Nick Jr, and Saturdays on CBS (see photo of me recording in my little studio).

On the 12th I went to Bridgehampton with Marya Martins to play chamber music, it was very exciting to play with Romero Lubambo again in the middle of a grape plantation, at a vineyard.   MORE >>


::: Show Review :::
10,000 Lakes Festival 2005

Detroit Lakes, MN (July21-24)
A review by Randy Ray: "The third annual 10kLF event held in Northern Minnesota turned out to be one of the best festivals of the summer with amazing sets from almost every act floating into the stratosphere from four stages. Who knew? I had made my travel plans based upon the appearances of Trey Anastasio, Widespread Panic, Black Crowes, Everyone Orchestra, The Breakfast, Particle, Cyro Baptista and Les Claypool."   MORE >>


::: News From The Road :::
Notes From Cyro - July 29, 2005

First of all, I want to thank all the people who stayed for the BTD show when we closed the 10K festival last Sunday after Trey's set.

Well, our performance was something else. I am so lucky to have these guys playing with me. One of the greatest moments of the show was Tim's drum solo under the table cloth. Everybody played with no mercy from beginning to the end. I loved it!! Check out the photo to see if you were there!

More photos can be found on the 10KLF web site.

I am getting ready to go to Marciac in France next week to play with Winton Marsalis and with John Zorn's Masada.

Cyro   MORE >>


::: News From The Road :::
Notes From Cyro - July 20, 2005

I am so happy that BTD is back in Business again. With all the new members in the band, it takes a lot of work, believe me.

Lisette Faria adds another perspective to our vocals and she is also a very accomplished percussionist. Also, the amazing guitarist Clay Ross helps us kick into another notch, learning our repertoire so diligently and contributing with his solid harmonies

Our first show with this new line-up was at Central Park Summer Stage on July 9. It was great! (see photo) They were a very well behaved uptown crowd. Tamango showed up and did an incredible duo with Chikako on tap.

The next day was where the real funk was at, we played at Smith Street's Bastille Day Fest in Brooklyn and everybody went bananas. Photos from this gig are now in our Photos & Video section

Last Saturday, we played at the Knitting Factory and around 400 people showed up (thank you very much). This included the children's show, where the kids danced with Kelly on stilts and rapped with Miss Angelina.

Scott Kettner and Maracatu NY rocked the place with us and by themselves after the show. We also had the amazing Michela Marino Lerman tapping with Chikako. Everybody danced their asses off.

This was also the first time we played Piper Opossum's theme from the sound track that I composed for Nickelodeon. We used tuned bottles (Grolsh, Heineken, Coke. Corona) under the conduction of Tim Keiper.

By the way, Little Airplane Productions, Inc. is the company that does the animations for Nickelodeon. They have asked me to write scripts for new segments that are going to be produced for the end of the year. That was a totally new experience for me.

We are preparing ourselves to go to the 10.000 Lakes Festival this weekend. Hopefully we will have Trey Anastasio sitting in with us. Last week I went to Atlanta to record on the latest album that Trey is producing with Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam). I did percussion overdubs on 9 songs.

Speaking of Trey, Herbie Hancock's album is in its final stages. I played on a song with Trey, another with Sting and believe it or not, on another one with Paul Simon.

By the end of August I will be going to Marciac in France with Wynton Marsalis to play compositions of Moacir Santos, an amazing Brazilian composer and arranger who lives in LA. The songs are from the double album Ouro Negro.

Cyro   MORE >>


::: News :::
Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey to Tour With Particle

Eleven Date Tour Through Southeast to Begin Feb. 25
Beat the Donkey is set to embark on a tour of the Southeast sharing the stage and getting things warmed up for the Los Angeles-based band, Particle. The eleven date tour includes stops in towns that BTD has never performed in, and the band is looking forward to bringing its 'percussion army' to these new locales.

Given both Particle and Cyro's collaborative nature, fans can expect a healthy doss of cross-pollination. Tickets for most shows are available now.   MORE >>


::: News :::
BTD photos from Floydfest

The photos from Beat The Donkey's show at FloydFest in August have been posted on their website
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::: News :::
Cyro in Japan at the True People's Celebration

This past November Cyro traveled to Japan to share the stage with Brazilian master Hermeto Pascoal at the True People's Celebration.

Click here for a video of Cyro and Hermeto's shows in Japan   MORE >>


::: Show Review :::
New York Times Review: Playful Complexities Via Zany Professor (Brazil Livre! at Jazz at Lincoln Center)

Click to download.
(PDF format)

Hermeto Pascoal was like a mad professor -- part cerebral, part zany -- when he performed at the Allen Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Friday night.
Cyro Baptista's Beat the Donkey, which opened the show, had a larger arsenal of junk and instruments. The 11 musicians deployed an international assortment of percussion -- along with occasional guitar, saxophone and keyboard -- for a set of songs and rhythm workouts that covered Brazil, the Americas and beyond.   


::: Show Review :::
Richmond Times-Dispatch: A Spellbinding Percussion Show (Jan. 31, 2004)

Words alone cannot describe the drama of human percussion that Brazilian rhythm maestro Cyro Baptista and his band, "Beat the Donkey," performed to a nearly packed Alice Jepson Theatre at the University of Richmond last night. Nonetheless, I will try.
Baptista, sporting a beige, sablelike hat, whirled around the stage, directing seven and sometimes eight other performers in a show that defied any label. There was sword dancing, acrobatic stunts, carnival costumes, and through it all, some of the most innovative percussion I've ever seen: from washboards and jew's-harps to a tree of snare drums, from incredible seven-tambourine and vocal grooves to gourd solos.   MORE >>


::: Show Review :::
New York Times: Ouds to Kannus - Around the World in One Night

Click to download.
(PDF format)

Cyro Baptista and his Brazilian band Beat the Donkey at GlobalFest, among 15 world-music groups at the Public Theater.
Beat the Donkey, a group led by Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, deployed Balinese gongs, tap dancing and blues-rock slide guitar. The group members used pinpoint timing for sly rhythm-and-vaudeville; at one point, two tambourine players sounded as if they were playing badminton. Their set was a happy fusion overload, direct from New York City.   


::: Article :::
Detroit Metro Times: The Name Means GO!

Beat the Donkey is a multi-culti mini-festival on one stage.
Cyro Baptista?s successes say a lot about him. And so do his failures.

He?s the ringleader of a circus of a band, Beat the Donkey, that conflates dance, percussion and theater. These days it?s a clatter of seven percussionists, an electric guitarist and an accordion player, all of whom multiply their presence with additional on-stage roles.

He?s a guy with the r?sum? that includes work with names everyone knows, names like Sting and Paul Simon. And work with names almost everyone knows, like Phish?s Trey Anastasio. And work with names like John Zorn, known mainly by those who consider themselves in the know. He?s worked with many of them since they were virtually unknown.

Ask about experiences that formed him, though, and Baptista also brings up flops ? and twists of fate that turned a doctor?s son from Sao Paulo, Brazil, into a guy who pummels all manner of percussion instruments like a madman. Which is what he is en route to doing at a Donkey gig in Baltimore when he calls from the van to chat.   MORE >>


::: BTD News :::
New BTD Album Released!

Cyro Baptista and Beat The Donkey have just released their second album, "Beat The Donkey Beat." The album will soon be released in Japan as well. Here are Cyro's comments on the new album.

1. Anarrie - features the cyrimba, the PVC pipes that I play with the sandals. During the rehearsals Max was whistling in the hallway and I thought it was so nice that it ended up being the centerpiece of this song.

2. Forro For All - believe it or not this song was arranged by Wynton Marsalis and was performed with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Here we have a BTD version of that.

3. Maria Teresa - this is a love song by Viva, with an an amazing introduction by Feldman. Later on, he and Rob Curto on accordion trade solos and then at the end the music explodes with entrance Jamie Saft?s mellotron. I can't tell you what Chikako is saying but it sure sounds amazing.

4. Olivia - Trey Anastasio changed the name of this song to "Olivia" from "Step On The Roach." It was originally I named this because when we play it with his band I count off "1,2,3,4, step on the roach" to begin the song.

5. Movie Screen - this is an homage to Mauro and Quiteria a couple that were performers in Recife in Northeast of Brazil. They used to perform at the harbor, and then they would get some words and facts from the sailors from all over the world and create the lyrics for their songs. It also is a statement about the US image in the rest of the world nowadays.

6. Rio de Jamaica - the song begins with me singing about how much I miss Rio and want to see Copacabana beach and then Peter and Jamie take over and tell how much they love Jamaica and reggae.

7. Bottles - this is a very visual song that we perform in the show playing all sorts of bottles. For the studio version we had help from the sound engineer's kids.

8. Caboclinho - from the folklore of Northeast of Brasil, this composition of Nana Vasconcelos is another big visual song that we play with bow and arrows instruments. Here we have Jimmy Cruiz on the Indian wood flutes. With the megaphone I leave you a choice between the risk of bearing arms or party until you die.

9. Matan - this song represents very well the BTD approach to composition. It would be very hard to define what style of music it is. We are constantly changing moods and switch from the "cuica" to the didgedoridoo to the Jew's harp. In another moment we play drum'n'bass with Balinese gongs together with capoeira and kung-fu, without being folkloric.

10. Tap on the Cajon - Max and me built big wooden boxes (don't try at home) so that he and Chikako could get the best sound out of the top. Nilson did the bass solo based on Bananeira by Brazilian great composer Joao Donato.

11. Immigrant Song - I always loved this song so much and this is a version with the alfaias (Brazilian bass drum) and accordion.

12. Pandeirada - this song is the closest to what the live show sounds like. People who have seen our show know what we do with the pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine) and will hear that here.

13. Frevo de Rua - another Northeast Brazilian form of music that originally was arranged for big band but fits perfectly with Viva's guitar interpretation.

14. American Constitution - we usually open the show with this piece, swirling the vacuum cleaner hoses in the air. Here we close the album with it so you can keep you laughing and bogeying.

Click here to order "Beat The Donkey Beat" and download MP3 sound clips.     MORE >>


::: Breaking News :::
Beat the Donkey to Perform GlobalFEST

New World Music Festival to Host Sixteen Acts on January 10 - Luminaries Spanning Five Continents Set to Take NYC Audiences & Performing Arts Industry by Storm
As part of the Arts Presenters Annual Conference, GlobalFEST will present short performances of sixteen artists FROM Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas on three stages at The Public Theater over a six-hour period on Saturday, January 10, 2004. Performances will run FROM 8 p.m. to approximately 1:30 a.m., with a DJ party continuing until closing time at 4:00 a.m. Intended to be an annual event, GlobalFEST has struck an amazing balance in repertoire and performers, drawing on a broad definition of world music. Beat the Donkey is honored to be included in this presentation will be the first act to perform the one-night festival. Not only have GlobalFEST organizers focused on high quality performers and diversity of origin as criteria for artist selection, they have also sought artists appropriate for a variety of performing contexts: concert halls, cabaret settings, dancehalls, and festivals. And to ensure a strong audience and an original feel, they selected both established and emerging artists.   MORE >>


::: Interview :::

A JamBase Interview.
Cyro took time out before his performance with the Trey Anastasio Band at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco to speak with JamBase about his new group, touring with legends and his decades as a working musician.   MORE >>


::: Article :::
Downbeat Magazine: 51st Annual Critics Poll (July 2003)

Click to download.
(PDF format)

Rising Star Percussion: Cyro Baptista
For Cyro Baptista, almost anything can qualify as a percussion instrument. Sure, he has the usual staples of cymbals, triangles, bongos, tambourines, wood blocks, washboard, whistles, timbales and various shakers as part of his enormous arsenal. However, there's the unusual instruments, such as the Coca-Cola sign and pieces of a dismantled refrigerator that have found their way into his battery.

"When I came to America, and got involved with musicians like John Zorn and Marc Ribot, all this 'downtown music,' I found out that I can do whatever. I don't have to be folkloric. I don't have to be 'typical Brazilian,' or jazzy," said Brazil-born Baptista, who first came to the United States in 1980 to study at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, with the likes of Don Cherry, Nana Vasconcelos and Jack DeJohnette, and has been in New York ever since. "Then I started to play these weird instruments that I invented. When the shows would finish, people would say, The show was great, but I can play the refrigerator. I can shake the thing.'   


::: Award :::
DRUM! Magazine: 2003 DRUMMIE! Awards

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Winner - Worldbeat Percussionist: Cyro Baptista


::: Article :::
Cleveland Free Times: World Traveler

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After 20 years of playing for other musicians, percussionist Cyro Baptista finally has his own show with Beat The Donkey.
Percussionist Cyro Baptista has been at the right place at the right time. Not once, but twice. Born and raised in Batuba, Brazil, he witnessed the birth of tropicalia, the radical Brazilian movement that produced musicians such as Tom Ze and Caetano Veloso. And then, when he moved to New York's Lower East Side more than 20 years ago, Baptista experienced another musical revolution. He doesn't underestimate his good fortune.   


::: Other News :::

Pollstar "Pounding the Skins" August 2003<
Rootsworld "Beat the Donkey CD Review" 2003<
Glide Magazine.com "Percussion Front And Center" - August 2003<
Interview from PhreshWater.com - January 2003<UPDATED 08-APRIL-2004
Interview on MundoVibes.com Musical Vibrations Worldwide - Feb. 2003<
Japan Times "CD Review New Releases" - November 2002<
Downbeat "On Tour With Trey Anastasio of PHISH" - September 2002<
New York Times "Vira Loucos Review" - Feb. 1999<
Jazziz Magazine "Profile: The Idiot Erupts"- May 1998<
Wire Magazine "Bites: Rhythm Methods" - 1997

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