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Marta Pereira da Costa: Tiny Desk Concert

From the very first beat in this performance, it's clear we are being transported to another time and space with Marta Pereira da Costa's enchanting time behind the Tiny Desk.

Considered to be the first and only woman to professionally master the traditional Portuguese guitar used in fado music, Pereira da Costa caught my attention in a crowded bar in Austin, Texas in 2019 during South by Southwest. In fact, with echoes of Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson's experience with Laura Gibson that gave birth to the Tiny Desk concert, I also wanted to hear Pereira da Costa's melodic fingerpicking prowess without the noisy crowd.

Accompanied by second guitarist João José Pita Junior and percussionist Pedro Segundo, the trio bridges centuries of history with immaculate playing and plenty of smiles. As Pereira da Costa states in between songs, the entire performance is a musical journey through her homeland, from land to sea and everything in between.

Fado has achieved international recognition outside of Portugal among the musically curious, and I usually associate it with a variety of renowned vocalists. But Pereira da Costa reminds us to pay attention to the accompanists and their instruments for a deeper appreciation of tradition and music made in the moment.


  • "Terra" 
  • "Movimento" 
  • "Encontro"
  • "Minha Alma"
  • "Dia de Feira" 


  • Marta Pereira da Costa: guitar
  • João José Pita Junior: guitar
  • Pedro Segundo: percussion


  • Producer: Felix Contreras
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin 
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern
  • Audio Assistant: Neil Tevault
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer 
  • Photographer: Michael Zamora
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Hazel Cills, Kara Frame
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

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Felix Contreras
Felix Contreras is co-creator and co-host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.