Cyro Baptista and Billy Martin's Black Lamp

This footage is from a show Cyro and Billy performed at the Boulder Theatre in Boulder, CO.


The two plan to hold more of these shows in the future.

For more information about their Workshops or performances:

For more information on Billy Martin:

For more information on Cyro Baptista:


Recently recording with pianist Herbie Hancock on his 2005 release, Possibilites, Cyro's credits read like a 'Who's Who' of modern music. In 2002 Cyro toured with Yo-Yo Ma's Brazil Project (as well as appeared on the Obrigado Brazil album - winner of two Grammy awards), Trey Anastasio (of Phish), and John Zorn. He recorded and performed worldwide with Herbie Hancock's Grammy award winning Gershwin's World. Cyro collaborated with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra for a Brazilian Carnival modern jazz concert. For over two years, he toured with Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints tour and appears on his Concert in Central Park release. In addition, Cyro toured the globe with Sting in 2001.
Performing his unique blend of percussion with some of music's most popular artists has given Cyro remarkable credibility within the industry. The wide range of artists Cyro Baptista has performed and recorded with include: David Byrne, Derek Bailey, Kathleen Battle, Gato Barbieri, Dr. John, Brian Eno, Robert Palmer, Melissa Etheridge, Laurie Anderson,James Taylor, Michael Tilson Thomas, Daniel Barenboim, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Medeski Martin & Wood, Spyro Gyra, Trey Anastasio, Carlos Santana, Tim Sparks, Sting, Stephen Kent and John Zorn, yet the list goes on. He has also played with many respected Brazilian artists such as Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, Ivan Lins, Marisa Monte, Badi Assad, and Nana Vasconcelos.
Cyro has performed on five Grammy award winning albums: Yo-Yo Ma's Obrigado Brazil, Cassandra Wilson's Blue Light 'Til Dawn, The Chieftains' Santiago, Ivan Lins' A Love Affair, and Herbie Hancock's highly-acclaimed Gershwin's World. He has also recently played on Tony Bennet s Grammy Nominated album entitled Duets - an Amercian Classic.

Beat the Donkey
Continuing the momentum, he created his own project: the percussion and dance ensemble known as Beat the Donkey. The group recently released its second CD, Love the Donkey, independently on John Zorn 's Tzadik record label, featuring the percussion-heavy beats and Brazilian rhythms. Beat the Donkey now tours the U.S., expanding into new markets taking the stage at performing arts centers, festivals, and conferences.
Cyro's debut self-titled CD with Beat the Donkey, (Tzadik) was picked by The New York Times as one of the ten best alternative albums of 2002. Readers of JAZZIZ and DRUM magazine voted it as "Best Brazilian CD of the Year" and named Cyro "Best Percussionist of 2002." Downbeat Magazine's 51st annual critics' poll selected Cyro as 'Rising Star' in percussion.

Billy Martin:
Billy Martin plays drums and percussion for the avant-garde jazz-funk trio Medeski, Martin & Wood. Before becoming part of Medeski, Martin & Wood, Martin was part of the NYC Brazilian scene in the 1980's. He performed regularly with Pe De Boi, Batucada and several Bob Moses bands for over a decade. He also joined Chuck Mangione's touring group for three years. Most notably he developed his unique percussion style with The Lounge Lizards and the John Lurie National Orchestra, and has collaborated with artists such as John Zorn, DJ Logic, Dave Burrell and Miho Hatori. He has also started his own record label, Amulet, specializing in eclectic percussion albums. Other collaborations include Iggy Pop, Eyvind Kang, DJ Olive, Ikue Mori, John Scofield, Maceo Parker, Marty Ehrlich, and Min Xiao-Fen.

Martin also sometimes goes by the moniker Illy B. The most notable releases as Illy B include the Illy B Eats series of breakbeat records. DJ Logic convinced Martin to record a breakbeat album for DJ's and other producers to use and remix. At the last minute, Martin decided to place an insert which invited remixers to submit their mixes for a follow up compilation, and Drop the Needle was born.

This year (2006) has been prolific for Martin as he created new chamber compositions for John Zorn's Tzadik label, Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood released Out Louder on MMW's new label Indirecto, a slew of new art, and an upcoming drum book entitled Riddim. Timeline of these events


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