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Cyro Baptista

Cyro Baptista

1950 -

Origin: Brazil

Main instrument: Drums/percussion

Genre: Latin

Brazilian-born Cyro Baptista first arrived in the United States on a scholarship in 1980, and has stayed on to become one of the country's master percussionists. Notorious for creating most of the instruments he plays, Baptista's percussions have been heard on a multitude of award-winning recordings, including Yo-Yo Ma's Obrigado Brazil and Herbie Hancock's Gershwin World. In 2002, the acclaimed musician created the dance and percussion ensemble Beat the Donkey, with John Zorn on saxophone and Marc Ribot on guitar. With it came the release of an album of the same name, and its follow-up, Love the Donkey, three years later. As a composer, Baptista has also created music for American children's television network Nickleodeon, and in 2009 released the experimental Infinito.


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