Marta Pereira da Costa is the world’s first and only female professional Portuguese Guitar player, performing the soulful fado sounds of Portugal — recently acknowledged by UNESCO as part of the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. When she’s performing, Marta Pereira da Costa delivers what can not be recorded: the heart of the woman who made the guitar, an extension of her alma.
She started playing the piano at the age of 4, and at 8 began to study the classical guitar. At 18, she began to study the Portuguese Guitar at the hand of Carlos Gonçalves, one of the most important “Amália Rodrigues” guitar players. Marta had the opportunity to play with names like Mariza, Camané, and Carlos do Carmo, and then became a touring member of Mário Pacheco’s musical group, where she toured Portugal and abroad. In 2012, Marta made the existential decision to abandon her work as a civil engineer in order to pursue her full-time professional career in music, deciding to focus on her solo career as a Portuguese Guitar player. It was also in 2012 when Marta recorded on Portuguese Guitar for Rodrigo Costa’s “Fados de Amor,” the first album in the history of Fado where the album’s Portuguese Guitar portions are solely played by a woman. The album was awarded “Best Fado Album of 2012” by the prestigious Amália Rodrigues Foundation.
Her career ascended in 2015, presenting the concert “Fado and the Portuguese Guitar” held at one of Portugal’s most important musical venues, the CCB (Belem Cultural Centre of Lisbon). It was a sold out concert. She went on to play at the Festival Musiques Rares, in Macôn, France, toured all over Portugal, Italy, and elsewhere in Europe. Highlight concerts included a sold out performance at the Real Teatro Santa Cecilia in Palermo, Italy. She released her first solo album on Warner Music in May 2016, and was well acclaimed by both the public and the critics.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Marta journeyed on to perform in Brazil, and then on her first USA tour in 2019, debuting at SXSW, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and Lincoln Center’s Atrium, touring from New York to California. In March of 2020, she will debut at the Savannah Music Festival in Georgia.
A richly chiming Lincoln Center debut by Fado guitarist Marta Pereira da Costa. She’s funny, and kind of badass: she knew she owned the crowd, and she didn’t try to hide it. In the world of fado, she’s a rarity, as a woman instrumentalist, composer and bandleader – New York Music Daily, USA (2019)
"A richly chiming Lincoln Center debut by Fado guitarist Marta Pereira da Costa. She’s funny, and kind of badass: she knew she owned the crowd, and she didn’t try to hide it. In the world of fado, she’s a rarity, as a woman instrumentalist, composer and bandleader" – New York Music Daily, USA (2019)