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About Michael Spiro

Michael Spiro is one of the busiest Latin percussionists in the United States. In addition to producing albums by Latin groups including Orquestra Batachanga, Grupo Beta-Ketu, and Grupo Ilu-Ana, Spiro has recorded and/or performed with such top-notch artists as David Byrne, Alex DeGrassi, Ella Fitzgerald, Gilberto Gil, Giovanni Hidalgo, Dr. John, Bobby McFerrin, Andy Narell, Ray Obeido, Carlos Santana, Shadowfax, Grace Slick, Clark Terry, McCoy Tyner, and Charlie Watts . His compositions have been heard in such films as Soapdish, Henry and June, True Stories, Walker, Eddie Macon's Run, and Dragon: The Life of Bruce Lee. Spiro has made the study of Latin America and its music his life's pursuit. After earning a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies at the University of California, he spent three and a half years working toward a doctorate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. He later served as apprentice to anthropologist Francisco Aguabella. Spiro has continued to explore Latin music, traveling annually to study in Cuba since 1984. He spent two months at a school of samba in Rio de Janeiro in 1986. Spiro has been a faculty or artist-in-residence at the University of Massachusetts, the University of California in Berkeley, and Wichita State University. He currently is a member of the jazz faculty at the University of California in Berkeley. Joined by fellow percussionists David Garibaldi and Jesús Díaz , Spiro has toured in an all-percussion trio, Talking Drums. ~ Craig Harris

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