Cyro Baptista

Since arriving in the U.S. in 1980 from his native Brazil, Cyro Baptista has emerged as one of the premier percussionists in the country. His mastery of Brazilian percussion, the many instruments he creates himself and his great charisma 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. Beat The Donkey’s first self-titled CD (TZADIK) was picked by The New York Times as one of the ten best alternative albums of 2002. In November 2005 , the second CD of the group, “LOVE THE DONKEY” was released by TZADIK.

“…The man the stars call when they want that otherworldly flavor in the mix…” (Time Out New York)

Cyro’s credits read like a “Who’s Who” of modern music. With Herbie Hancock, he recorded and performed worldwide with the Grammy award-winning project “Gershwin’s World”. He also participated in the newest Hancock’s release “Possibilities” (with Paul Simon and Sting) and shares composition credit with Herbie and Trey Anastasio. This track, “GELO NA MONTANHA”, was nominated “Best Pop Instrumental Performance” for this year’s GRAMMY Awards.

He recorded and toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Brazil Project, with Trey Anastasio (of Phish) and with John Zorn. For 3 years he toured the world with Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints” and appeared on his Concert in Central Park release. In addition, Cyro toured the US with Sting in 2001. He co-produced with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra a Brazilian Carnaval modern jazz concert.

Among other artists that Cyro has performed and recorded with are : David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Kathleen Battle, Gabrielle Roth, Gato Barbieri, Dr. John, Brian Eno, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Toni Bennett, Robert Palmer, Melissa Etheridge, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Michael Tilson Thomas, Daniel Barenboin, Bobby McFerrin, Gipsy Kings, Medeski Martin & Wood, Spyro Gyra, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Santana. He has also played with many respected Brazilian artists such as Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, Ivan Lins, Marisa Monte, and Nana Vasconcelos.

Cyro Baptista is featured on these Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors albums:

Zone Unknown
Endless Wave Volume 1
Endless Wave Volume 2