This award was generously supported by Christopher V. Walker. _
Cyro Baptista is one of the country’s leading percussionists. He studied music at the Instituto Villa-Lobos and the Conservatory of Music in Rio de Janeiro and worked in film and theater there before arriving in the U.S. in 1980 on a scholarship to the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York. Remaining in New York, Baptista became an in-demand studio musician playing and/or performing with numerous talents such as Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Cassandra Wilson, and John Zorn, as well as prominent Brazilian musicians. In 2002, he created the 10-piece ensemble, Beat the Donkey, which merges music with dance and Carnaval-style theatrics.