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João Torre do Valle

(N. 24 July, 1939 - M. July, 1939)

João Maria Torre do Valle Santos adopted the artistic name João Torre do Valle. He was born in the city of Oeiras, (Lisbon region), on the 24 July 1939.

Fado singer and guitar player Carlos Ramos began to teach him Portuguese guitar when he was 14 years-old, in 1953. He later continued his studies with guitar player Casimiro Ramos. Then he went on learning by listening to other Portuguese guitar players and performing with them, namely Raul Nery, Francisco Carvalhinho, Domingos Camarinha, Dr. Fernando Pinto Coelho, José António Sabrosa, António Bessa, José Nunes, Jaime Santos and others.

He also learned music with Maestro Frederico de Freitas.

Around 1957-1958 he began to accompany several professional fado singers, although he remained an amateur. For example, Vicente da Câmara, Maria Teresa de Noronha, Hermínia Silva, Carlos Ramos, António Rocha, Fernando Maurício, Fernando Farinha, Celeste Rodrigues, Alfredo Marceneiro and many other singers of that time.

He also accompanied many amateurs who later had a career in fado, namely João Ferreira Rosa, Teresa Tarouca, António Mello Correia, Francisco Stoffel, João Braga, etc.

His compulsory military service (1961/1965), with two years in Angola, forced him to make a pause in his activity – although he never quit practicing and exercising in Portuguese guitar playing.

During his long stay in the military service he had the occasion of meeting and becoming acquainted with several Portuguese guitar players from Coimbra, namely Jorge Godinho (dead at an early stage), Octávio Sérgio and Dr. Jorge Tuna.

He returned to Portugal in 1965 and immediately resumed his contacts with the milieu of Portuguese guitar and fado. He continued to accompany, in private and public shows, some of the fado singers mentioned above and he played solo instrumental pieces for Portuguese guitar, accompanied by Spanish guitar.

This activity became more intense after 1968 and he registered as professional Portuguese guitar players in June 1969, becoming a member of the Musicians Trade Union. He expanded his musical activity and today it is impossible to recall all the shows he performed at, both as accompaniment and Portuguese guitar soloist. Reference should also be made to many shows at RTP, the only television network that existed back then.

In 1968 he met Portuguese guitar performer Carlos Paredes, together with Fernando Alvim. Since then he had the opportunity of accompanying the rehearsals and career developed by Carlos Paredes and Fernando Alvim for more than 20 years. He also played many times (in private) with the said musician, with whom he learned a lot.

In 1974 he completed his degree in Law, at the Law School of Universidade de Lisboa. He has been registered in the Lawyers’ Bar since 1975. He has been a practicing lawyer since then, but today his legal activity is reduced and he devotes most of his time to teaching Portuguese guitar.

He participated in the recordings of many records, namely with José Campos e Sousa (1988), Maria do Rosário Bettencourt and Luz Sá da Bandeira (1987). With Luz Sá da Bandeira he made a record in 1991 and another in 1997. He also recorded with Dr. Isabel Tello Mexia in 1992, in Macao.

In 1996 he accepted the invitation to become a member of the ensemble In Nomine, with whom he had previously recorded a Fado Mass, called "Quando o Fado é Oração". He performed with this ensemble at churches, monasteries and many show venues.

In the last 15 years he has accompanied singers like Luz Sá da Bandeira, António Pinto Basto, Nuno da Câmara Pereira, Camané and others.

He has also played with several Coimbra fado singers and guitar performers and has given private lessons of Portuguese guitar in the last 30 years.

He has been a teacher of Portuguese Guitar at the School of Musica of the National Conservatory since the 1 March 1999.

He is one of the founding members of the Academia da Guitarra Portuguesa e do Fado.

Among his most recent performances, reference should be made to the following:

Fado and guitar show with Luz Sá da Bandeira, in Brussels (1988);

Participation in the 40th Anniversary of the Artistic Career of Vicente da Câmara, in Lisbon, (November 1989);

Participation, with Vicente da Câmara and José da Câmara, in the International Music Festival of Macao (October 1990);

Several shows in Macao and Seoul, in South Korea (June 1991);

Several shows with José da Câmara and solo, in the framework of the Europália official programme, devoted to Portugal, in Belgium (October 1991);

Show with Luz Sá da Bandeira at Teatro Municipal S. Luiz, in Lisbon (April 1992);

Several shows with Luz Sá da Bandeira and António Pinto Basto, in Macao and Hong-Kong (June 1992);

Participation in the Day of Portugal at Expo'93, in South Korea;

Shows with Vicente da Câmara in Vienna, Austria (November 1994);

Shows in Brussels (October 1995);

Portuguese Guitar Concert in the framework of the City Feasts, Lisbon (June 1996);

Several Portuguese Guitar recitals, in different cities in Japan (June, October and November 1997);

Portuguese Guitar Recital given to the OECD ministers, in Paris (April 1998);

With ensemble "In Nomine" - Mass in Fado – he participated in Expo'98 at the invitation of the Holy See Pavilion;

In September 1998 he participated in Expo'98, in the framework of the "Festival da Guitarra Portuguesa", in Lisbon.

He travelled to Tokyo, Japan, for one week, performing at different venues (November 1998);

He also travelled for one week to Seoul, in South Korea, and performed at different venues (June 1999).


Cabral, Pedro Caldeira (1999), “A Guitarra Portuguesa”, Col. “Um Século de Fado”, Lisboa, Ediclube;



  • Fado Pechincha Luz Sá da Bandeira/ João Torre do Valle/ Fernando Alvim (Maria Teresa de Noronha / João do Carmo Noronha)