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Feel the beat of Brazil

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scott Kettner is functioning well despite taking a red-eye flight from California to New York City.

Traveling is part of Kettner’s life and he’s adjusted well to it.

“I won’t have another day off for three weeks,” he says during an interview from his New York home. “It’s an exciting time for me right now and I’m looking forward to what’s coming.”

Kettner is the mastermind behind the American/Brazilian collective Nation Beat.

The band is touring in support of its latest release, “Growing Stone,” which was released in 2011.

Kettner also released a book on Maracatu, Brazilian-style drumming called “Maracatu for Drumset and Percussion.”

“I wanted to write a book that has all the facts there,” he says. “I’ve been working on this for a decade, though the actual writing began two years ago. There was a need for the correct information to be out there on Maracatu and I felt I needed to write it.”


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Though he is busy, Kettner tries to make it all work.

“I don’t have time for it all, but I guess I’m addicted to making music,” he says. “It’s my obsession and my passion. It’s the unknown that motivates me and I’m learning new things all the time.”

Nation Beat will be in the Land of Enchantment for two shows – one in Santa Fe and one in Albuquerque. The band’s current lineup also includes Liliana Araujo, Dennis Lichtman, João Erbetta, Mark Marshall and Jordan Scannella.

Kettner has been working with Nation Beat for well over a decade and he says his first exposure to “world music” was in Florida while he was in high school.

“It was a band that Stewart Copeland put together,” he says. “It didn’t hook me at the time, but as time passed, that event stuck in my head. That’s what made me want to pursue a band with Brazilian influences.”