One of the premiere percussionists on the planet, Cyro Baptista leads his winsome quartet on a virtuosic trek through myriad musics of the world. Banquet of the Spirits embodies the Brazilian philosophy of anthropofagia, or cultural cannibalism, a term coined by the Brazilian modernist poet Oswald de Andrade for a radical new approach to art-making.

Washed out surf rock splashes, blazing hardbop solos, breathtaking West African harping, exquisite Brazilian rhythms — the sounds all coalesce into a carnivalesque stew of joy and irreverence as these four astonishing players draw freely on sounds and instruments from around the globe to create utterly unique combinations.

A veteran of stage and studio work with the likes of Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Trey Anastasio (of Phish), John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Cassandra Wilson, Sting, the New York Philharmonic, the Kennedy Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and many others, Baptista is one of the most sought-after players around. His visionary approach to music-making stresses inclusion, community and pushing past boundaries, while remaining refreshingly fun and totally accessible.

"Simply ingenious... undeniable... provocative, powerful and deeply enjoyable."

All Music Guide

"Brazilian percussion genius."

Time Out New York

"An undeniable, cheering-crowd favorite."

The Arts Fuse

"You feel like you're listening to a captivating travelogue, as told by a group of nomads who are at home everywhere."

NPR Music

Program Note:

"This band is a musical manifestation of the process of eating, swallowing, and digesting all the tendencies that are part of the sonic landscape. The music is a product of the sounds these players have collectively consumed over the years; some of them they have digested and others they have rejected. Through this process it has been difficult to identify what belongs to what country, culture, or religion.

We all have the anthropofagic nature within us
We devour each other seeking transformation
The mouth is sacred because of all the things that come in and go out
We eat, we speak, we kiss, we smile and sing
The mouth is the portal to our brain, stomach and heart
The mouth is the system connecting our intellect, emotion and spirit
And it digests everybody and everything in its path
All is gloriously regurgitated
We choose the essentials
And eat again
And again
And again"

— Cyro Baptista

Audio: Cyro Baptista on NPR's Jazz Night in America