Custódio Castelo

Custódio Castelo

 Lisbon, Lisbon, PRT

Custódio Castelo, virtuoso Portuguese Guitar player/composer, is an impressive example of the renewal of Fado. Uniquely, he takes the Portuguese Guitar out of the strict box of tradition, reaching for the foreign elements that have scented it, returning the soloist merit to this amazing instrument.


"The guitar is a ship in the seas of music..."

Since an early age, music sparked Custódio Castelo’s interest. Born in Almeirim, Ribatejo, Portugal, at the age of seven he builds his first musical instrument, made out of tin. At age thirteen he is offered his first “serious” instrument, an acoustic guitar, with which he starts playing on popular music groups and local rock bands.
Custódio discovers the enchanting sound of the Portuguese guitar through the Amália Rodrigues albums, and immediately falls in love with it. He tackles the instrument in an audacious way. He starts to accompany some of the most notable Fado musicians, particularly Vicente da Câmara, Manuel de Almeida, Fernando Farinha and Fernando Maurício.
"Custódio Castelo is undoubtedly one of the indisputable references of the renewal of the Portuguese guitar in the last two decades ..." says Rui Vieira Nery.
He begins composing at age 18 and, two years later, Jorge Fernando invites him to record an album, opening a musical partnership that continues until today.
Castelo establishes, with singer Cristina Branco, a partnership that leads the press to refer to his musical composition as "brilliant", "beautiful and perfect", between tradition and innovation. With Cristina Branco he releases seven albums, two of them, "Múrmurios" (1998) and "Post-scriptum” (1999), honored with the award ‘Choc de L’Année du Monde de la Musique’ in the World Music category.
Of Custódio Castelo’s list of achievements it is important to emphasize the participation on the record "Garras dos Sentidos" by Mísia, "Na Linha da Vida" by Camané, his role accompanying Mafalda Arnaulth at the Royal Albert Hall and as Portuguese Guitar Player for Amália Rodrigues, in her last concerts in the United States.
Virtuoso guitar player, Castelo performs as a soloist at several major international festivals, namely at Belo Horizonte Music Festival (Brazil), the World Music of Philadelphia (USA), the International Music Festival of Rabat (Morocco), the North Sea Jazz (Netherlands) and the Festival du Sud (France).
In 2004 he suffers a ligaments rupture in his right shoulder and an unexpected surgery. On the face of this event, and of the possibility of not being able to play anymore, Custódio gathers some musician friends who always accompanied him and - "with great difficulty in execution and in a climate of extreme tension, as if it was a farewell to his guitar" - they record the album "Tempus", the first release of his originals.
Returning to the music scene in full strength and creativity, he records with Ana Moura, Mariza, Jorge Fernando, Gonçalo Salgueiro, João Chora, among others.
He participates with Ana Moura and Jorge Fernando in "The Rolling Stones Project", of Tim Ries.
"Fortunately there are several composers, some of them from unexpected areas, that have contributed to the vitality of fado. Custódio Castelo is undoubtedly one of the most talented, capable of the most sophisticated compositions", says Manuel Halpern.
Castelo signs the production of Cristina Maria’s new album, "Percursus", accompanied by Custódio Castelo Trio.
With the Symphonic Orchestra of Lithuania and Nuno da Câmara Pereira, Custódio records the album "Só à noitinha", and until this day, he shares the stage with musicians from other areas such as accordionist Richard Galliano, pianists Olga Prats, Arrigo Cappellel and Andrew Dequech, the bandeonista Daniele di Bonaventura, cellist Davide Zaccaria, bassist Ben Wolf, the classical guitarist Leonardo Amuedo, the singer Carmen Liñares and the fashion designer Ana Salazar.
Since 2008, Castelo teaches the first Master Degree of Portuguese Guitar at the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, in Portugal.
In 2010 Custódio Castelo is awarded with the Amália Rodrigues Prize for Best Fado Instrumentalist.
In September 2012 he releases his second album of original compositions, InVentus, recorded with his trio and several Portuguese and international guests. InVentus is distributed worldwide by 'ARC Music'.


Tempus (2004) - ARC Music
InVentus (2012) - ARC Music

Set List

1. In-quietude
2. Sobre Lisboa
3. In agradecimento Miss Morna 1941-08-27
4. Fan-Fado
5. In agradecimento Fado 1933-11-21
6. The Take Off
7. O Encantador de Tristezas: 1º Andamento - N'aldeia; 2º Andamento - Acasa; 3º Andamento - Declaração de Amor à Saudade
8. In-Distance
9. In agradecimento Fadoi 1920-07-01
10. Ventus
11. In agradecimento Guitarra Portuguesa 1926-09-20
12. Oneafrodite
13. Fins do Sol