National Endowment for The Arts Feature

Apr, 17 2014



I feel very honored to be featured on the NEA’s website.  As many of you know, last August I co-produced an epic tour along with some very close friends called A Tale of Two Nations which featured my band Nation Beat along with 13 members of Maracatu Estrela Brilhante from Recife, Brazil.  This was a dream project that had been dancing around my head for the past 13 years!  We had 22 people on the road and 18 musicians and dancers on stage.  For many concert goers, it was the very first time they had ever seen maracatu.  For some concert goers, tears were their expression of joy as we paraded through the crowds.  There are no words that could possibly explain how exciting this tour was.  However, the NEA has written an overview that does a very good job at summing up the tour and some of our experiences.

Click here to read the NEA overview of A Tale of Two Nations tour.

Maracatu Blog #1 – click here to read entire blog post.

Jan, 6 2014

FINAL_cover_2Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that 2014 brings lots of great music for all of you.  One of my new year resolutions is to share as much music with all of you as possible.  I will be dissecting my book “Maracatu for Drumset and Percussion” into short blog posts each month where I will share some (not all) of the historical information and music from the book to give you a peek into the material.  This book was a serious labor of love that I couldn’t have accomplished without my writing partners Aaron Shafer-Haiss and Michele Nascimento.  As you can imagine, writing a book about an art form that is 400 years old and is changing and evolving every day is a very daunting task.  We’d like to thank all of the traditional maracatu nations who participated in this book for sharing their music and culture with us (and you).

Maracatu Blog #1 includes my introduction from the book along with some brief overview of the instruments used in traditional maracatu nations.   As this maracatu blog progresses we will get deeper into the music, however it will begin with a series of posts about the history of the music.  As a professional drummer/percussionist I feel that it’s very important to understand the culture of a style of music before digging deep into the music.  In my opinion, culture is what shapes the music in any society – music is a reaction to the social events that occurred in a period of time in that society – therefore making history the foundation of the music.

Please share this page and this blog with any of your friends who are interested in learning Brazilian music and culture, or are just simply interested in music from around the world.

You can purchase the book here.

Click the link below to read the full blog post in pdf format.

Maracatu Blog #1

Maracatu for Drumset and Percussion – Now Available!

Nov, 25 2013


Maracatu for Drumset and Percussion explores the traditional Brazilian rhythms of the Maracatu de Baque Virado, which originated in the Candomblé religion but have expanded to provide the rhythmic framework for a particularly exciting style of music. Author Scott Kettner explores every aspect of this dynamic genre, including: instruments of Maracatu de Baque Virado, changing traditions of maracatu, traditional and contemporary maracatu manifestations, drumset applications, New Orleans mambo, and more.

You can purchase the book online here.