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Artist News & Happenings - 2008
Up Close & Personal
Cyro Baptista

Hello friends!

Hope 2008 has been treating everyone very well and our best wishes go out for a year filled with great surprises, lots of passion, conviction, determination, strength and many flowers!!!

Banquet of the Spirits

Anthropofagia, the quartet formed by Cyro Baptist, Brian Marsella, Tim Keiper and Shanir Ezra Bumenkranz will soon be releasing their first CD, Banquet of the Spirits

Anthropo - greek for 'human being'
Phagy, Fagia - greek for 'to eat'

The music is inspired by the Anthrophagite Movement of Brasil, a cultural movement that occured in the 1920s, when for the first time in the country's history, artists rebelled against all the "official art" that came from Europe and claimed that the Brazilian character was defined by the regurgitation of all the ingested cultures current at that time: African, indigenous Brazilian and European.

The album, to be released by Tzadik in March, features extraordinary guest performances by John Zorn and Eric Friedlander

Banquet of the Spirits Website

Beat The Donkey celebrates 10 Years Of Donkey Madness in 2008!

Last year, from Chicago to Reno to most every southern state to the Corning Museum of Glass - Beat The Donkey delivered what the Grassroots Festival called "the most exciting live show you'll ever see". They got a chance to play for their old friends while making many many new ones along the way!!

In addition to touring - BTD has been vigorously involved in cultivating future generations of young musicians. In many of their stops across the country, Cyro and the group have held extensive workshops. The response has been tremendous and we hope to continue this trend in 2008!

The Robison Lubambo Baptista Trio

Once again in 2007, Cyro had the absolute pleasure of sharing the stage with breathtaking flutist Paula Robison and his old friend, guitarist extraordinaire Romero Lubambo.

With each new performance Cyro understands more and more why in the 'classical music' world Paula Robison is known as one of the greatest flutists in the planet.

He's proud to have lured her into the world of Brazilian music.

Cyro's not the only one to think that:

"Exquisite beauty... authentic and moving... may well qualify Robison for an honorary Brazilian citizenship." - Jazz Times

"A rare artist who can make the flute sound both sensuous and classically pure - An absolute wonder." - The New York Times

The Trio hit its stride in 2007. In January 2007, they played at the inaugural Cartagena Music Festival in Colombia. Their performance was so well received that they were invited to perform in September at the Festival Internacional de Arte in Cali, Colombia. As if that wasn't enough - they were asked back yet again to play this years Cartagena Music Festival!

During the spring, the trio spent time on the road touring the east coast with Charles Wadsworth's Musical Master Works series. In the spring of 2008, you'll be able to catch them at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC.

In other news, Pergola Recordings will be re-releasing one of the trio's albums! The album called "Rio Days, Rio Nights" features Paula Robison (flute), Romero Lubambo, (guitar) Cyro (percussion) and Sergio Brandao (bass and cavaquinho).

Look for this CD, as well as many others, at Cyro's online shop.

Cyro Awarded 2007 Percussionist of the Year!!

Cyro was awarded the title of "2007 Percussionist of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Voting members of the JJA, a non-profit professional organization, cited Cyro as 2007's top percussionists.

Cyro is very proud of this acknowledgement and extremely prestigious honor!

Also, thank you to Howard Mandel (president of the Jazz Journalists Association) as well as the entire organization.

Beat The Donkey Goes to the Movies

2007 was a big year for films. Cyro and the band appeared in two movies this year!

Cyro and Beat The Donkey just wrapped up filming on a new Jonathan Demme Film - "Dancing with Shiva". You'll be able to see the band on the silver screen sometime in 2008. Aside from Cyro, you'll also be able see Ze Mauricio and Lisette DeFaria of Beat The Donkey. In addition, BTD's original music will be featured in the movie. Stay tuned for more information!!

Also, members of Beat The Donkey were in Julie Taymor's "Across The Universe". In that film, you might have caught a glimpse of Cyro in the Circus Band in the song "Being for the Benefit of Kite". Also in this film, you can see Beat The Donkey's own Tim Keiper as Sadie's drummer.



Mike Bennett

I just wanted to check in and say hello. ... I have been on tour with Hilary Duff again this past month just this time behind the drums! So now I am the drummer for Hilary! We were just in Brazil and Mexico and I just arrived in Australia today. Things are going really great and Im still rocking my Pro-Tamb's on the gig! I also have new articles coming out in Modern Drummer, Drum Scene and a few others. I also want to get going on some more clinics this year ... Thanks as always for everything and talk to you soon! Peace.

Mike Bennett



Manny Kellough

DVD - A Jazz Musical tour of Las Vegas
CD - Grovin' And Swingn'
Voted Best Jazz Trio and drummer in Las Vegas 2007 !
I'm Working on a new CD For Spring time release and preparing for a Japan tour in May.



Charles Heath

... currently playing drums and percussion on the national tour of The Color Purple Musical



Charlie Zeleny

Charlie Z has recently returned from a Japan Tour playing duo with Jordan Rudess, keyboardist of Dream Theater, records with female classical shred guitarist The Great Kat and is the drummer on the new Kayodot album on Hydrahead Records.

Charlie is also a member of the internationally acclaimed band Behold the Arctopus signed to Metal Blade Records and Blotted Science featuring Ron Jarzombek of Spastic Ink and Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse...

Charlie Z is currently working on an advanced drum video course for Jordan Rudess' Online Conservatory entitled "Extreme Drum Solo Mastery."



Kevin Rice

I am now running RemoteDrummer.com

RemoteDrummer.com, a creation of AngelHouse Studios, is a fully equipped professional recording studio specializing in drum tracking via the Internet. Perfect for anyone who needs tasteful, album-quality drum / percussion tracks for their album / demo / jingle / remix...

Check out our website for more info, full session videos, and more!



Gary Stanionis

... To recap 07' Jaciem Joyner won Best Debut Artist 07' and we rode the Top 10 Billboard charts for over 5 weeks. I'm currently in the studio recording his second release. Grammy's are looking good! There are tour's being booked to Australia, Japan as well as East and West coast Jazz Fest. Tours in support of the new album. In other news CG Ryche's DVD was released this past Nov. and was picked up by KCET / PBS and has been running for their pledge drives to millions. Tours in support of the DVD are also in the works. I am currently working on a curriculum of my own for clinics and a book. I'll keep you posted. Things are great and getting better!



Vanessa Brown

... I'm doing "The Color Purple" at the Ahmanson 'til Mar.9th... then it's back to "Dancing With The Stars" on Mar.16th...


MB Gordy

Hey all

check out the new Sarah Connor Chronicles tonight and tomorrow night on Fox.

It's percussion Heavy with yours truly!!! and an awesome score by Bear McCreary..

Go to Bear's website:



Nir Z

Hello everyone,

... I have been working very closely with Toontrack on a new multitrack drum library called Superior 2.0 that we feel will revolutionize people's idea of how absolutely realistic multitrack programmed drums can sound. The drums were recorded by myself, Pat Thrall and Neil Dorfsman at Avatar Studios (Studio A), Allaire Studios, and the now defunct Hit Factory (Studio One, NYC). If you want to check out a preview of the program go to the link below:

All the best,




I just wanted to keep you updated on my workshops. I am scheduled for another Master Class on February 9th at Remo.

I have also been invited to do a performance and two Master Classes at the World Rhythm Festival in Seattle. The date are April 25-27th. A three-day weekend...

Much blessings,



Bruce Aitken

Here I am in the midst of my rehearsal for the up coming trip to Edmunton to record a CD with Asani and the legendary Ed Mann (Frank Zappa).

Its been rather cold here in the east during December, January, but as you can see... with my signature Promarks in hand and man's best mate Bixbie the world famous dog... all's well that ends well....

On Tour with The Irish Rovers

Here is a picture that was taken at the Auditorium in Thunder Bay Ontario on the last night of the Tour. (you can see more pictures in the Images Section) It was an amazing trip and a real privilege to perform with The Legendary Band the Irish Rovers . I have been listening to these guys for the last 40 odd years and it was such a thrill to actually play with them. They are master musicians, and pros, each night was exciting and full of fun. The two original Members George Millar and Wilcil McDowell are a true testament to the wonders of Traditional Irish music, and consumate musicians. Ian Millar has great timing and is a very cool bass and guitar player. John Reynolds apart from being one of the funniest guys I've ever met, is an awesome guitarist, he played some amazing solos... and some pretty mean bass as well. What can one say about Sean O'Driscoll, the multi talented multi musician, plays bazookie, mandolin, banjo and tin whistle, world class.

We played a sold out tour and signed "zillions" of autographs, I think the thing that impressed me most apart from the music and the Irish Rovers themselves was the age range of those attending the shows, from young to old and all inbetween, the Legend grows, the warmth and genuine love of the fans for the band and its music truly amazed me.

Bruce to record with Asani and Ed Mann

I am about to head to Edmonton to record the last Asani CD. Ed Mann is producing and playing on it as well. What an amazing project to be invited to.

Asani are the most amazing vocalists I've ever heard, their harmonies and vocal rhythms are just amazing and send the spirit of music through ones entire being. I first met Asani at a festival in Eskasoni on Cape Breton Island, and immediately invited them to perform at the Cape Breton Int Drum Fest... they sing, and play traditional frame drums.... needless to say they brought the house down and received a standing ovation.

Ed Mann, what can one say, one of life's amazing people, with a wonderful heart and love of good for mankind. I admire Ed not just for his music but for having the courage of his convictions. He has a feel of empowerment about him and is humble yet very wise in so many ways. Musically he's at the top of the tree and its incredible to know I have Ed as a life friend.

Asani, Ed and myself are touring New Zealand in September 2008.



Voyce McGinley

Wishing you much peace, love, success and happiness in 2008!

I am finally getting settled in from the first leg of Kitaro's Love and Peace World Tour. We performed all over South East Asia, including sold out shows in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. We also performed at the Bangkok Jazz Festival (for the King of Thailand's birthday).

Kitaro was featured in the December 2007 issue of Keyboard magazine. Our band picture can be found on page 40. I have some temporary tour pictures posted on my mypace page until the concert photos and DVD arrive via Domo Records Management.

Happy New Year - Voyce :-)



Brendan Buckley

Hi y'all! Happy New Year. This coming Monday night, I'll be doing one of Shakira's folkloric tunes from the "Love in the Time of Cholera" soundtrack on The Tonight Show.

thanks for everything,



Dony Wynn

One and all,

I'm very happy to announce that in this last year I finally emerged from my six year long self exile. A corner has been turned!!! Life has taken on new purpose and function, which is why I went into self exile in the first place, to realign certain elements under my jurisdiction, embrace new avenues open to me, to be able to take on new projects with renewed enthusiasm and focus. This year past doors kept opening and because of my time in the trenches I was ready for the challenges.

Was a year of firsts, too. Finally got a cell phone (egads!). Started a new band (Knuckle Yummy). Lost a companion (Lily). Worked on several projects with people who inspired me to the nth! Great new friends entered my life. Got to see my entire family after 7 years of not being able to. Surrounded by talented people who totally inspire me.

Consider me back in the slipstream and armed for bear.

And yet another first is I'm announcing today a new website I've built which will demonstrate that even though disappeared from the world, I've not exactly been twiddling my thumbs. Been plowing ahead in my solitude with all the talents under my hood.

With networking so prevalent on the Web now I thought it time to expand my talents beyond Austin borders where I now live. Time to expand the horizons. So I am.

The addie is www.donywynn.com

In there you'll find short stories, photos, songs in which I've banged on stuff, plus a growing catalogue of songs I've produced and mixed, too. Wacky stuff all... far from the norm............

Boy is officially back in the saddle.
Spread the word.



Rick Latham

Hi Folks,

I've just posted my first new Podcast of 2008. Please check it out and let me know what you think. You can download it or just view it online.

I'm also very excited about many other new things to come this year so, please check my site often and pass this link along to your drumming friends.

All the best for now and throughout the new year.

Keeping It Funky,