Marta Pereira da Costa is the world’s first and only female professional Portuguese guitarist of fado music, the soulful sound of Portugal recently acknowledged by UNESCO as part of the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Marta Pereira da Costa started playing the piano at the age of four, and at eight 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” guitarists. Pereira da Costa 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, she 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 she recorded for Rodrigo Costa’s Fados de Amor, the first album in the history of fado where the record’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 sold-out concert Fado and the Portuguese Guitar held at the CCB (Belem Cultural Centre of Lisbon). Pereira da Costa went on to play at the Festival Musiques Rares in France and toured all over Portugal, Italy, and elsewhere in Europe. On the other side of the Atlantic, she journeyed on to perform in Brazil, and then on her first U.S. tour in 2019, she debuted at SXSW, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and Lincoln Center’s Atrium, touring from New York to California.