One of Brazil’s most acclaimed seven-string guitarists, the Grammy Award–nominated Marcello Gonçalves is internationally renowned not only as a stellar performer, but also as a sought-after musical director, arranger, producer, and educator. His boundlessly warm nylon-string tone, broad sonic range, and irrepressible rhythmic finesse can yield a sound as full as an orchestra, revealing roots deeply planted in Brazilian popular, folkloric, and classical music traditions. Gonçalves’s creative synthesis of all these elements has elevated his artistry to a rare and transcendent level.
Gonçalves received his doctorate in music in 2019 and is currently a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where he created the first academic course for Brazilian seven-string guitar, an instrumental discipline unlike any other. Over many years, he has had the opportunity to study with masters Dino 7 Cordas, Mauricio Carrilho, and Helio Delmiro, among others.
With clarinetist Anat Cohen, a major force in the New York and international jazz and world music scenes, Gonçalves recorded the duo album Outra Coisa: The Music of Moacir Santos (Anzic Records), which received a 2017 Grammy Award nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album, as well as a Premio da Música Brasileira (Brazilian Grammy) nomination for Best Instrumental Album. Gonçalves is also a longtime member of Trio Madeira Brasil, the Premio da Música Brasileira-winning group, with a celebrated catalog of recordings and a history of extensive worldwide touring.
Gonçalves has served as a seven-string guitarist, musical director, arranger and/or producer for the likes of João Bosco, Ney Matogrosso, Roberta Sá and Chico Buarque. His duo recordings with cavaquinho player Henrique Cazes have explored the legacies of the early 20th-century Brazilian music pioneers Pixinguinha and Garoto. His work with the group Rabo de Lagartixa has shed new light on the music of legendary Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. In addition, Gonçalves’ collaboration with Portuguese singer António Zambujo resulted in a Latin Grammy nomination for the platinum album Até Pensei que Fosse Minha.
As musical director for Brasileirinho, a documentary film about Choro music, Gonçalves helped draw international attention to this unique Brazilian idiom. Directed by Finland’s Mika Kaurismaki, the film premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival in 2005 and was screened in more than 25 countries.