Check Out Cyro's Projects:
Beat The Donkey:
Since arriving in the U.S. from his native Brazil, performer and bandleader Cyro Baptista has emerged as
one of the premier percussionists in the world, bringing his unique charm and intense rhythmic drive to
countless stages, performing on numerous Grammy-winning recordings, and collaborating with myriad
luminaries such as Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, John Zorn, Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, Caetano Veloso, and
many others. Described by Thom Jurek of All Music as “simply one of the most limitless musicians we
have,” Baptista’s many honors include DownBeat Critics Poll Percussionist of the Year in 2013 and 2011,
Jazz Journalists Association Percussionist of the Year in 2007 and 2010, Drum Magazine Percussionist
of the Year in 2003 and 2004, and US Artists Walker Fellow in 2009/10.
Baptista’s quartet, Banquet of the Spirits, has performed internationally at Stanford Lively Arts, SF JAZZ,
Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts,
the Wharton Center in Michigan, Purdue University's Loeb Playhouse, “Where is the Music?” Festival in
Japan, The Bimhuis in Amsterdam, SESC Pompeia in São Paulo, and many more.
With Beat The Donkey, or Pau Na Mula (Brazilian slang meaning “Let’s go!” or “Let’s do it!”), Baptista
leads an ensemble of musicians and dancers in a high-energy performance combining music, humor,
capoeira, tap dance, and instruments from around the world. The project has toured to major venues and
festivals including Grand Performances in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Detroit International
Jazz Fest, Quebec City Summer Fest, the Chicago World Music Festival, the International Festival of Arts
and Ideas, the Krannert Center, the Hancher Auditorium, the Walker Art Center, George Washington
University, Central Park Summerstage, FloydFest in Virginia, and 92nd Street Y. Beat The Donkey’s selftitled
release was selected by The New York Times’ Jon Pareles as one of the top ten alternative albums
Baptista has conducted workshops and master classes at major venues, such as The Juilliard School,
Berklee College of Music, Mannes College of Music, The New School, New World Symphony Orchestra,
Kimmel Center Jazz Camp, and K-12 schools across the country.
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