At the age of seven he built his first musical instrument from which
came his first sounds and at thirteen he was given his first "real"
instrument, an acoustic guitar.
Custódio Castelo, was bor in Almeirim on the 23rd of december 1996. He joined some popular Portuguese music groups and rock bands.
At sixteen, listening to recordings of Amália Rodrigues, he discovered the sound of the Portuguese Guitar and since then it has been his chosen instrument.
From a young age Castelo was considered a prodigy for his audacious ans different approach to the Portuguese guitar and his talent has been recognised by the most demanding "fadistas" of these time, being invited to accompany many of the grate names in traditional fado such as D. Vicente da Câmara, Manuel de Almeida, Fernando Farinha, Cidália Moreira among others.
At 18 he wrote his first composition and at 20 was invited by Jorge Fernando to make his first studio recording. This was the beginning of a musical partnership which continues today. ( Custódio Castelo has recorded all his fado records with Jorge Fernando and together they have recorded and produced numerous works by other artists such Mariza, Camané, Maria da Fé, Gonçalo Salgueiro, Fernando Maurício, Argentina Santos, Antologia do Mais Triste Fado among many others.)
He accompanied Nuno da Câmara Pereira for four years recorded " Só à noitinha " with the Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra.
An invitation arose to record with Mísia "Garras dos Sentidos ", becoming her principle accompanist for 2 years. A further invitation followed to record with Camané "Na linha da Vida", and then a tour with Camané and Carlos do Carmo.
He accompanied Amália Rodrigues on her last American tour presented his solo project at the invitation of Pedro Caldeira Cabral at Expo 98. Also in 1998 Castelo became mentor to the Cristina Branco project, exposing world wide his genius as a composer, producer, arranger and instrumentalist.
"Between classic and modern. Between tradition and innovation. Beautiful and perfect, this is Cristina Branco's music, within which stands out principally the Portuguese guitar of this master, Custódio Castelo, who is also the principal composer of these original pieces interpreted by the singer. Brilliant."
This project resulted in 7 recordings and numerous tours throughout the world. The first of these recordings is "Live in Holland" (1997) followed by "Murmúrios" (1998) which was distinguished in France with the prize, Choc de L..Année du Monde de la Musique, in the World Music category. The following year, Post-scriptum was awarded the same prize and in 2000 appeared "O Descobridor" his most important and daring work as a composer. The record is wholly dedicated to the work of the Dutch Poet Jan Jacob Slauerhoff and composed entirely by Custódio Castelo, rising to prominence with first place in the "top" composers for that year.
"O Descobridor" went platinum in Holland and its themes were later orchestrated by Bob Zimerman.
"Castelo's compositions for the Portuguese guitar are the most creative ever written, approaching the erudite".
In 2001 "Corpo Iluminado" arrived on the market, a gold record inHolland and Belgium, followed by "Sensus" (2003), a gold record in Holland, and "Ulisses" (2005).
Castelo accompanied Mafalda Arnauth at "The Royal Hope Charity Gala" with Sarah Brightman, the Royal Ballet, Plácido Domingo and Joaquim Cortés.
His versatility has never allowed him to be solely a fado accompanist, he has never been chained to the forms of fado, having been exposed to diverse influences as an adolescent and bringing to the Portuguese guitar his personal tastes for other musical genres, primarily the Tango (Piazolla).
With the "Cristina Branco" project, Castelo has achieved world renown for his innovative and daring conception of music, being today recognised for a certain irreverence in his approach to the themes and the creation of a new environment for the "traditional" fados and by the fusion of the Portuguese guitar with other sounds, having shared the stage whit numerous musicians and singers from other areas. Richard Galliano ( accordion ), Arrigo Cappelletti ( piano ), André Dequech ( piano ), Daniele di Bonaventura ( bandoneón ), David Zacaria ( cello ), Bem Wolf ( double bass ), Leonardo Amuedo ( classical guitar ), Olga Pratz ( piano ), Cármen Linares, Ana Salazar...
As a soloist, Castelo has taken his sound and his brilliant compositions to the most highly regarded music festivals in the world: Festival de Belo Horizonte ( Brazil ), World Music Festival of Philadelphia (USA), International Festival de Rabat ( Morocco), North Sea Jazz Festival ( Dan Hag Haia ), Festival du Sud ( France )...
In 2004, Castelo underwent unexpected surgery for a rupture to the ligaments in his right shoulder. Due the seriousness of this injury he appeared to be facing a premature end to a brilliant career. At this very difficult time, for someone to whom their music is their life, Castelo reunited various musicians and friends who had alwais accompanied him, Jorge Fernando, Alexandre Silva, Fernando Maia, Marino de Freitas, Miguel Carvalhinho, Carlos Manuel Proença, Carlos Velez, Cajé, Filipe Larsen, and went into the studio with the purpose of recording his work of many years, achieving this with great physical difficult, in a tense climate, as a farewell to his guitar.
Thus was born"Tempus", a marvellous record full of sentiments and of an irreproachable quality, which has never been available in Portugal.
However, destiny did not wish Castelo to be separated from the great love of his life, the Portuguese guitar, and after some months away and a difficult and remarkable recovery he returned to the stage at the beginning of 2005 to record the most recent works by Jorge Fernando, Gonçalo Salgueiro, Raquel Tavares, João Chora, Ana Moura...
With Ana Moura and Jorge Fernando, Castelo has been invited by Tim Rice to record two tracks ( Brown sugar and No expectation ) for the second volume of "The Rolling Stones project".