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Custódio Castelo

(N. 23 December, 1966)

Custódio Azevedo Fidalgo do Castelo was born in Almeirim on December 23, 1966. At the age of 7, he built a musical instrument, but at the age of 13 he started playing guitar, first acoustic and then electric, integrating some sets of Portuguese popular music and rock bands .

Through the discography of Amália Rodrigues, he discovered the sound of the Portuguese guitar and this became the instrument of his choice. It is in his homeland that he begins by taking Portuguese guitar lessons with Lionel Menderico and, later, develops with Raimundo Seixas the study of the traditional repertoire of fados and guitars.

His interpretative talent earns him quick recognition among the most demanding and, as such, Custódio Castelo is invited to accompany many of the great names of traditional fado, such as Vicente da Câmara, Manuel de Almeida, Fernando Farinha or Cidália Moreira, among others.

Custódio Castelo makes his debut in the recording industry in 1986, when he is invited by Jorge Fernando to record his debut album, entitled “Enamorado”. In this way, they started a partnership of recording and record production that remains until today.

He accompanies Nuno da Câmara Pereira instrumentally for 4 years, and records with him, in 1995, the album “Só à Noitinha” (EMI), integrating his Portuguese guitar into the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra.

1998 was a special year for the guitarist, with the editions of the albums “Na Linha da Vida” (EMI), by Camané, and “Garras dos Sentidos” (Erato), by Mísia, and also the consequent tours accompanying the disc presentations. Custódio Castelo became Mísia's main accompanist for two years and, following the release of Camané's CD, he made a tour with this fado singer and Carlos do Carmo.

Still during that year, he presents his solo project at the “Portuguese Guitar Festival”, organized by Pedro Caldeira Cabral for the stage of EXPO'98. From that show Maria Bethânia invites him to accompany her in several concerts.

In that year, Custódio Castelo also became the mentor of the Cristina Branco project, building with the fado singer “a fado with ill-defined borders, which at times approaches tradition and at times moves away irremediably, above all by opening space for a melodic and instrumental complexity, which seems indispensable to the genius of Custódio Castelo.”

The albums “Live in Holland” (author's edition, 1997), “Murmúrios” (Music & Words, 1998), “Post Scriptum” (L 'Empreintdigitale-Harmonia Mundo, 1999), “O Descobridor” (Universal, 2000) , “Corpo Iluminado” (Universal, 2001), “Sensus” (Universal, 2003) and “Ulisses” (Universal, 2005), by Cristina Branco, where Custódio Castelo is a composer, producer, arranger and performer, allowed him to conquer “ world recognition for its innovative and bold way of conceiving music, for the somewhat irreverent way in which it approaches themes, for recreating new environments for the so-called traditional fados and for the fusion of the Portuguese guitar with other sounds ”.

The success of this musical association with Cristina Branco is evident in the prizes won: the "Choc de L´Année du Monde de la Musique" award, in the World Music category, attributed in 1998 to the album "Murmúrios" and, in the following year to “Post Scriptum”. "O Descobridor" was certified platinum in the Netherlands and the "Corpo Iluminado" was a gold record in both the Netherlands and Belgium.

The mastery of his interpretations and the quality of his compositions for Portuguese guitar allowed him to conquer the stage, as a soloist, in concerts all over the world, with emphasis on the Belo Horizonte Festival, in Brazil, the World Music Festival of Philadelpia, in the United States, the International Festival of Rabat, in Morocco, the North Sea Jazz Festival, in The Hague or the Festival du Sud, in France.

Custódio Castelo has also performed in numerous shows with interpreters from other musical areas, such as Richard Galliano, Arrigo Cappelletti, André Dequech, Daniele di Bonaventura, Davide Zacaria, Ben Wolf, Leonardo Amuedo, Olga Pratz and Cármen Linares, among many others.

In 2004, in the face of an unexpected surgery, due to a rupture of ligaments in his right shoulder, Custódio Castelo feared the premature end of his career as an instrumentalist. Despite the great difficulty of execution and revealing an enormous willpower, the guitarist gathered musicians and friends who always accompanied him (Jorge Fernando, Alexandre Silva, Fernando Maia, Marino de Freitas, Miguel Carvalhinho, Carlos Manuel Proença, Carlos Velez, Carlos Garcia, Filipe Larsen) and recorded his only solo album in studio - "Tempus". About this work, Custódio Castelo says that it is “a document, because it gathers some of the compositions that I never shared. And, in a difficult moment of my trip as an instrumentalist, I gathered the friends with whom I grew up musically to conceive what I thought was my last work… Everyone said yes… and the work was born. ”

After a difficult recovery that lasted a few months, he returned to work at the beginning of 2005, participating in the record works of several fadistas. Custódio Castelo recorded with Jorge Fernando all his fado records, and recorded and/or produced countless works by other artists such as Mariza (“Fado em Mim”, World Connection, 2001), Maria da Fé (“Divino Fado”, CNM, 2003), Gonçalo Salgueiro (“Segue a Minha Voz”, Movieplay, 2006), Raquel Tavares (“Raquel Tavares”, Movieplay, 2006), Joana Amendoeira (“Joana Amendoeira”, CNM, 2003; “À Flor da Pele”, HM Música, 2006), Ana Moura (“Para Além da Saudade”, Universal, 2007). Also with Ana Moura and Jorge Fernando he was invited by Tim Ries to record two songs (“Brown Sugar” and “No Expectation”) in the second volume of "The Rolling Stones Project".

Custódio Castelo is a composer, record producer and musician. As a composer he has about 200 themes registered with the Portuguese Authors Society. As a record producer, he develops his own projects and with other musicians, as we saw above. And, as a musician, he divides his career between a solo show and the “Encores” project.

Recent milestones of his solo career are the show “Sobre Camões”, taken to the stage on October 21, 2007, a work created exclusively for Casa da Música, in Porto.

In his most recent project, “Encores”, Custódio Castelo joins the voice of Margarida Guerreiro, presenting poems by Fernando Pessoa, Cecília Meireles, Vasco Graça Moura, David Mourão Ferreira, Eugénio de Andrade, among others, with his own compositions. The "Encores" project already has an edited CD, recorded live at the Igreja da Misericórdia in Montemor-o-Novo, in 2006. Custódio also has edited "The Art of the Portuguese Guitar" (2011), "InVentus" (2012) and "Amália Classics on Portuguese Guitar" (2020).



“O Mirante”, April 2, 2009;

Cabral, Pedro Caldeira (1999), “A Guitarra Portuguesa”, Amadora, Ediclube;

Halpern, Manuel (2004), “The Future of Saudade. The New Fado and the New Fadistas ”, Lisbon, Don Quixote Publications;

Custódio Castelo s/d.

Guilherme Banza, Paulo Paz e Custódio Castelo Lançamento do livro "Fadário" Museu do Fado, 2 de Dezembro de 2008

Custódio Castelo 2009

  • Fado Monte Custódio Castelo/ Carlos Manuel Proença/ Marino de Freitas (Custódio Castelo)