Pedro de Castro(N. 29 August, 1977)
Pedro de Castro was born in São Paulo, on 29th august 1977, in virtue of his parents’ passage through Brazil. His childhood years were spent in Cascais, where he still lives. His dad was a professional musician, bass and piano player and was part of the Navy Orchestra and some other bands in the 60s. Besides this, he always had great proximity with the Fado community, since some artists were a regular presence at his parents’ home.
His musical career started at 5 years old when he started learning the piano. By the age of 14, and under influence of Portuguese guitar player José Luís Nobre Costa – who would become his teacher –, he started learning this instrument. Nobre Costa would invite him to perform next to him on Fado Restaurants so that he could learn the chords and witness first-hand the musical specificities of Fado. Castro started performing in “Arreda” and later in “Amália Clube de Fado”.
Since then, Pedro de Castro have become one of the most virtuous Portuguese guitar players, an extraordinary musician who masters the instrument with the agility of someone who had to be born with this gift. He accompanied and went to studio with some of the greatest fado singers like Ana Sofia Varela, Carlos Zel, Rão Kyao, Hélder Moutinho, Ricardo Ribeiro, Kátia Guerreiro, João Braga and Celeste Rodrigues. But the record he his most proud of is “Hás guitarra”, with José Luís Nobre Costa, Joel Pina and Francisco Gonçalves.
Besides being a musician, Castro is the founder and manager of “Associação do Fado Casto” and the soul of “Mesa de Frades”, the restaurant he envisioned for the younger generations. The singular atmosphere of this place (it is in an old chapel) and the astonishing cast of singers, makes “Mesa de Frades” one of the must-goes of Lisbon’s night life.
The São Luiz Municipal Theater hosted, in October 2021, the show “100 Musicians for Amália”. Pedro Castro took the reins of the artistic direction and brought together musicians from the most varied universes - from Italian and French songs to bossa nova, from classical music to folklore, from fado to flamenco, from jazz to tango, in a tribute to Amália, who thank her for the legacy she left us.
In December 2022, at the Grand Auditorium of the CCB, Pedro de Castro presents an instrumental album – edited by the Museu do Fado Records – in which he brings together themes from the great names of Portuguese Guitar composition to whom the guitarist pays tribute. The fado guitars of André Ramos and Jaime Santos are assiduous company and the bass guitar of Francisco Gaspar too – on record and on stage. Artur Caldeira's classical guitar combines with the mastery that characterizes the musician from Braga.
Interview by Nuno Pacheco, in Público, 12 de janeiro de 2018