Winnipeg, the multicultural capital of Canada is very lucky to have such an amazing artist like Marco Castillo to represent the vast and complex culture of Brazil. Born in the Capital Samba, Rio de Janeiro, he was raised in a musical family and that's evident in his musical knowledge. Afro-Brazilian & Latin Samba-Jazz Funk probably best describes Marco's music. Blending the unique traditional rhythms and contemporary sounds of Brazil with lush jazz-voicings and epidemic grooves. Marco has been impressing international audiences around the globe. A talented multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter and bandleader Castillo made Canada his home in 2006, Brazil wept. Following in his father's footsteps, a man who recorded tons of albums (including with Nat King Cole) and toured the world with "Trio Irakitan", Marco's skills were honed at the feet of the best. Castillo's extensive musical and rhythmic expertise spans from the gentle, warm musical embrace of the romantic Bossa-Nova, rustic and contagious root rhythms of Baião, and the festive, upbeat, exuberant Samba, to the velvety sounds of Smooth Jazz, and alluring, infectious funky grooves. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Estácio de Sá University in Rio de Janeiro in 1994, he instantly began touring South America with Brazil's hottest bands.
Since moving to Canada, Marco has been giving back as much as he has been given. His musical influence can be seen everywhere among his peers. Whether it's his work as a solo artist or his collaborations, not the least of which is his full 8 piece "Brazilian Beats" band which always brings a one of a kind show. Castillo music delivers a variety of systemized and uplifting rhythms that will surely bring all listeners the unique Brazilian experience. Marco is the Latin/World Music 'go to guy' and is becoming one of the most sought-out artists in Canada. In 2010, CBC Radio Producer Kinsey Posen selected Marco Castillo to be part of the Manitoba Cover Project where new and emerging Manitoban artists covered well known Manitoba composers. Marco Castillo's contribution was a Portuguese version of These Eyes by The Guess Who and Neil Young's Heart of Gold. The Olimpics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 was also an opportunity to Marco to share his talent, he got an invitation from Maestro Julian Pelicano to perform 10 shows with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra honouring the hosting city of the 2016 Summer Olimpyc Games in Brazil.
Recordings and collaborations:
In Canada Marco recorded on Erin Prop & Larry Roy's album "Courage my love" nominated for the 2014 Juno's Award. His intelligent treatment of all the rich Brazilian styles on his Canadian debut CD, Brazilian Season, ensured that it topped college radio charts for weeks. Castillo's much appraised Trip to Brazil, a sumptuous samba compilation awarded World Recording of the Year (2012) in Regina as part of the Western Canadian Music Awards, continues to rocket Marco to the top of the World Music scene in Canada. Marco's new release Zabelê (World Recording of the year Nominee WCMA 2014) brings ten original eclectic songs in a perfect and diverse mix of uplifting Latin-Jazz and delivers a variety of deluxe textures that will surely bring all listeners to their feet.
His vivacious compositions and passion brought Castillo the opportunity to participate in numerous festivals across Canada including the Western Canadian Music Awards and every year since his debut in 2008 he plays at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival. Marco Castillo was selected to represent Brazil in one of the biggest Festivals in South America. Held annually since 1960 in Viña del Mar, Chile this international song contest is one of the most important music festivals in Latin America, reaching 250,000,000 fans around the wolrd. Castillo's original song "Forró no Canada" from his recently released CD Zabelê, was one of the six finalists in the Folkloric category of the juros including Oscar de León and Pedro Aznar. The festival has launched the careers of many international artists, including Julio Iglesias and Shakira.
“The calibre of his work has always been world-class, and he and his Brazilian Beats Band shine during the Folklorama Festival, and at events in the community year-round.” - Debra Zoerb, Executive Director of Folklorama.
“From the first moment I heard Marco Castillo play I knew he was the real deal and I have been a huge fan ever since. Trust me -This guy is a force to be reckoned with.” - Heather Bishop CM, OM, LLD (Hon)
“Marco Castillo's voice is like a warm breeze from the South. His guitar laying and original songs capture the passion, poetry and lyricism that we all recognize as the spirit of South America. We are fortunate to have his artistry right here with us in Winnipeg's thriving cultural community.” - Steve Kirby Ex-Director of the Jazz Program at University of Manitoba - Faculty of Music