Maracatu New York

Photo by Jason Gardner.  Ghouls & Gourds Halloween Festival 2010Maracatu New York is New York’s first and only Maracatu ensemble dedicated to the performance and knowledge of traditional Maracatu de Baque Virado and other musical styles from the Northeast of Brazil, while fusing these rhythms with New Orleans Second Line and Mardi Gras Indian rhythms.

Upon returning to New York after an extended study of Folkloric northeastern Brazilian music, Scott Kettner founded Maracatu NY in the hopes of exposing the community to a rhythm outside of the popularly known music of Brazil such as Samba and Bossa Nova. With his experience and contacts, Scott developed the goal of capturing this folk art with its traditional rhythms and presenting them to the New York community through weekly Maracatu percussion workshops and performances. Kettner received an artist grant from The Brooklyn Arts Council in February 2003 and 2005 for this project. In 2005 Maracatu NY was the first and only United States Maracatu group to travel to Recife, Brazil where they studied with Corpos Percussivos and Jorge Martins and performed in Carnaval. In 2008 Maracatu NY led a two-week immersion study program to Recife's Carnaval, where members studied and played with Corpos Percussivos, Galeria do Ritmo samba school, Estrela Brilhante maracatu nation, and Dona Cila do Coco.


Maracatu NY has been offering classes and workshops at the Gowanus Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY since the fall of 2002. Weekly percussion workshops continue to explore the elements of Maracau de Baque Virado, including the rhythms, dances, songs and history.

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