Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Accomplished musician Cyro Baptista has played the complete range of percussion instruments from his native Brazil, as well as many other world music instruments. Based out of New York, he showed up on a Paquito d'Rivera release, and on John Zorn's film works in the mid-'80s, and Baptista continued to appear on the occasional Zorn release throughout the '90s. Other artists Baptista worked with through both decades demonstrate his versatility: Laurie Anderson and Herbie Mann. He has backed Brazilian artists Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, and Marisa Monte (on her 1991 N.Y.C. who's-who-studded Mais), and appears on several '90s releases from jazz singers Cassandra Wilson and Holly Cole. Baptista's excellent and varied résumé speaks of a strength of percussion that works in international, pop, and jazz musics. Zorn, bassist Greg Cohen, Marc Ribot, and Nana Vasconcelos perform on his first album as leader, Vira Loucos. Released by Zorn's Avant label in 1997, the CD captures his wild interpretations of the music of Brazilian classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. Sticking with Zorn and moving to the Tzadik imprint, Baptista released Beat the Donkey and its mirror image Love the Donkey in 2002 and 2005, respectively. Banquet of the Spirits followed in 2008, also from Tzadik. Infinito appeared in 2009.