Nation Beat | Family Concert

As part of the Family Concert Series
  • October 21st 2023 11:00am
  • Doors: 10:30 AM | Show Time: 11:00 AM

  • Event Gallery
  • Suggested donations of $5-$15 per person.

Pounded by calloused hands; blasted by tightened lips. It calls across time and continents - with a visceral response from hips and feet.

It’s the force that blew through Louis Armstrong in the twenties. It’s the power that gets Brazilians swinging in the streets for carnival.

Which nation, and which beat?

What makes Nation Beat so special is that it offers no simple answers. When band leader Scott Kettner looks at a map, he sees a direct line that connects the rivers of northeastern Brazil to the parishes of New Orleans and the streets of NYC. A master percussionist, composer and educator, Kettner is the guiding force behind Nation Beat and has been tracing the similarities between the music and culture of northeastern Brazil and the American South for two decades, through recordings and performances as well as educational and community outreach programs. More recently, Kettner has been conceptualizing a new sound for Nation Beat that blends the roots styles of New Orleans and Brazil with his background in jazz and hybrid drumming.

In 2018 he began composing and collaborating with tenor saxophonist and arranger Paul Carlon. Together, they shaped the ensemble’s sound for their new phase in cross-cultural explorations, and furthering Nation Beat’s history of being rhythm gatherers, harvesting the fruit of 500 years of cultural crossbreeding resulting in a 21st century mash-up of the thunderous grooves of northeastern Brazil with the strolling swagger of New Orleans via NYC. Nation Beat is a NYC-Brazilian collision that parades with an infectious, audacious energy, seamlessly bridging folkloric Brazilian rhythms with classic American roots music in an altogether creative and original manner.


Rock and Roll for all ages! The Family Concert Series returns to Bethel Woods this summer to the Horizon Stage with a fun and interactive performance for children. In an effort to make live experiences affordable and accessible for all ages, the series will follow a “pay-what-you-can” model, with suggested donations at $5, $10, and $15 per person. *Food and drink are available for purchase at Yasgur’s Farm Café.

Turn your visit into an overnight getaway!

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Support for this series is made possible by the Rea Charitable Trust, the William and Elaine Kaplan Family Foundation, Stewart’s Shops and by Bethel Woods Members and Donors. View a copy of our annual report or click here  for a more comprehensive list of supporters.