Drummer, Percussionist, Composer & Recording artist Scott Kettner is the Artistic Director/Founder of world renowned Brazilian fusion band Nation Beat, who performed together with Willie Nelson at the 2008 Farm Aid concert. He’s also the founder and director of Maracatu New York, the first organized maracatu group in the USA.
Kettner also keeps himself busy writing songs for and producing other artists. ” Infinito,” a song he co-wrote with fellow Brazilian percussion great Cyro Baptista, served as the title track of the latter’s most recent album, and Kettner has also written for the Brazilian group Cascabulho and the New York-based accordionist Rob Curto. Kettner’s production credits also include tracks on Matuto, the 2009 album by guitarist/vocalist Clay Ross.
Nation Beat, however, remains his primary focus, and the group’s next move is always eagerly anticipated by its growing legion of fans. Each performance has been met with an ecstatic response from audiences, and critics have heaped praises upon the band: “Nothing short of inspirational” (NPR’ s All Things Considered); ” Dance music in its primal, untainted state” (Conscious Choice); ” Near addictive” (Time Out Chicago); and ” Inspired ambassadors of Brazilian sounds” (San Francisco Bay Guardian) are just afew of the plaudits they’ve received.
Where Scott Kettner will go next is anyone’s guess, but you can be sure he’ll continue to find connections where no others have seen them before, and to create new sounds where none have ever heard them. Like maracatu itself, he’ s only just begun to make his presence felt.
Q & A
BORN IN (city): Jacksonville, FL
LIVES IN (city): Maplewood, NJ
DRUMMING SINCE (year): 1983
CURRENT BAND/PROJECT(S): Nation Beat and Maracatu New York. I’m about to release a new CD in July, 2015 with Nation Beat called “Carnival Caravan”
BIGGEST INFLUENCE(S): Elvin Jones, Zigaboo, Clyde Stubblefield, John Bonham, Nana Vasconcelos, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Johnny Vidacovich
FAVORITE ALBUM YOU PLAYED ON: Nation Beat’s “Legends of The Preacher”
FAVORITE ALBUM YOU DIDN’T PLAY ON: Dr. John’s “Locked Down”
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Performing with Willie Nelson at Farm Aid
FAVORITE SABIAN CYMBAL: 22″ Artisan Ride