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William Tyler and Marta Pereira da Costa

New York Guitar Festival 2022

Originally Aired: Friday, June 17, 2022


The fourth and final night of the 2022 festival features the space-Americana and pastoral country stylings of guitarist, composer, and collaborator William Tyler. Also, there’s a fado-tinged set from bandleader, composer, and soloist Marta Pereira da Costa, the world’s first and only female professional player of the Portuguese Guitar (a double six-stringed, teardrop-shaped instrument traditionally played by men.) John Schaefer hosts.


Since its founding in 1999 by David Spelman, the Artistic Director of the festival, and WNYC’s John Schaefer, host of the “New Sounds” radio series, the NYGF has taken advantage of the instrument’s unique ability to find a way into almost every kind of music we make. That includes places where you expect to find the guitar – Glenn Jones, for example, keeps alive the tradition of the path-breaking American folk guitarist John Fahey – and places where you don’t, as in the contemporary post-Minimalist music of Gyan Riley. So whether you’re a fan of William Tyler’s cosmic brand of country/folk or Badi Assad’s Brazilian-inflected jazz/pop, we’ve got a guitarist for you. A bunch of them, in fact. Two a night for four nights of live, in-person, in-front-of-real-people guitar playing.

Credit: Photo by Chantal Anderson

Folk, country, indie, and electronic music all echo through the works of William Tyler. His solo albums offer a distinctive, sometimes gothic, often celestial take on American roots music. His collaborative albums include experimental guitarist Marisa Anderson, electric harpist Mary Lattimore, and the ambient drones of Six Organs of Admittance.

Credit: Photo provided by artist

The guitarra Portuguesa, or Portuguese guitar, looks a bit like a mandolin on steroids, and has a long history of great performers – all of them dudes.  Until Marta Pereira da Costa showed up.  She plays the instrument in its traditional setting – Portuguese fado music – but has also written her own music and collaborated with artists like Iranian singer Tara Tiba and Cameroonian bass player Richard Bona.

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