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Osman Martins

Author, composer, producer, cavaquinist, guitarist, percussionist, singer



Photo credit: ©Philippe Quevauviller

Osman Martins was born in Bahia, Brazil on October 12, 1961. He became interested in music at a very early age and, between two football games, he watched the musicians play in the street. He was particularly fascinated by the "cavaquinho", a small Brazilian guitar with four strings. The object of his dreams was given to him on his tenth birthday, and from then on he played it every day. At the age of fifteen Osman enrolled at the Curson school and took cavaquinho lessons with Maestro Robinson Miguel, a very famous guitarist in Brazil. He graduated with great distinction and gradually established himself as one of the best "little guitar" players in São Paulo. From then on, he performed all over Brazil and toured Europe with the group "Oba-Oba", after which he settled in Rome. 

In 1987 Osman moved to Brussels, where he decided to settle while continuing to perform regularly throughout Europe with the group Samba Tuque (Germany, Switzerland, Turkey). Osman composed and was interested in different projects in which he could interpret the traditional rhythms of his country by mixing them with other music. The "Caminhada" project thus offered an explosive mix of Brazilian music and reggae. He then formed the group "Batida de Samba", which represented all the crossbreeding of Brazil. His compositions, full of sweetness and nostalgia, make you dream of an idyllic Brazil where everything is poetry, music and perfumes. 

In 2005 Osman and his group "Euro Samba" launched into a repertoire based on South American rhythms, samba, salsa, bossa nova, pagoda, baião, afoxé, chorinho and all the rhythms of Brazil. Osman further accentuated "fusion" rhythms and melodies such as samba-fusion, samba reggae. A world music par excellence. He was invited to participate in a compilation of the RTBF show "Le Monde est un Village", on which he proposed original compositions. 

In June 2008, Osman launched a new album entitled "Motivo De Alegria". His path then crossed that of Pierre Gillet, with whom he began an exciting partnership between his cavaquinho and Pierre's Brazilian 7-string guitar which resulted in the album "Parceria". In just a few years, Osman Martins has become one of the most sought-after Brazilian artists in Europe, with a repertoire mixing samba, bossa-nova and choro.

His latest artistic project "Vontade Saudade" is the result of a meeting with a young talented arranger, Pierre Slinckx, and the MP4 String Quartet (violins and cello). The artist invites us on a journey into saudade, a typically Brazilian feeling, in order to connect us to a clever mix of tradition and modernity. This project, initiated by Didier Mélon, was presented for the first time at Theatre 140 in Brussels in April 2015. 

Osman carries within him this generous opening allowing an original understanding of bossa nova, samba or chorinho. He invites us into his multi-faceted artistic universe which he shares in his teachings, for example in the context of Muziekpublique. It is this openness towards others and his passion for musical sharing that has led him to meet many musicians throughout his rich career. 

He was invited by Philippe Quevauviller in June 2011 to participate, with Pierre Gillet, in the "Bossafolies du BAO", and he participated in the launch of the Festival Âmes Latines in 2014 in which he proposed a quartet illustrating the crossbreeding of Brazil around a repertoire based on South American rhythms, samba, salsa, bossa nova, pagoda, baião, afoxé, chorinho and other Brazilian rhythms, with Vincent Penasse (saxophone, flute), Junior Martins (percussion) and José Alvaro (bass).

His curiosity for links between Brazilian music and French chanson also led him to cross paths with Didier Sustrac for a participation in his album "Ostende Bossa" in 2016. The invitation of the latter in the Bossa Flor program the following year made Osman join several concerts in 2018-2019 and a guitar encounter in February 2020. From this meeting was born the Bossa Flor's "Cordes enchantées" project in which he participates with Luiz de Aquino and Vitor Garbelotto.

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