Sound of the Community Workshop (July 24-30, 2017)

Cyro Baptista conducting performance by Sound of the Community participants, July 30, 2017

Imagine a performance that would involve professional musicians, children, teenagers, senior citizens, adults with developmental disabilities, and physically challenged individuals performing choreography in their wheelchairs.

A performance where no more emphasis would be placed on Yo-Yo Ma’s Stradivarius Cello than would be placed on pizzicato rubber bands and balloon bassoons.

Imagine an opportunity for an adult living with developmental disabilities to play an instrument he or she built from scratch as part of a full production on a stage with lights in front of an audience.

This is the ultimate goal of The Sound of Community project, which Cyro Baptista brought to Buffalo, NY with the support of the Creative Arts Initiative and Artpark.

The Sound of Community is a project of true inclusion, where underserved members of the community collaborate together. Each participant will be made to feel that music isn’t something only created on big stages and fancy recording studios – but rather can be a part of their everyday life as a ritual and a means of bringing people together.

Cyro Baptista is a Brazilian musician, teacher, and recording artist specializing in percussion in the genres of jazz and world music. His mastery of Brazilian percussion and the many instruments he creates himself, have catapulted him into world renown.

During his Spring/Summer 2017 CAI Residency, Baptista led a week-long workshop for UB students and the members of the public of all ages. Participants then joined Baptista for the opening celebration and performance on the Beat Blossom, a unique sculpture/percussion instrument created by sculptor Shasti O'Leary Soudant with Baptista and installed in the Percussion Garden at Artpark.