João Braga was born in Lisbon and grew up with his eyes open to the beauty of the world, about him Vasco Pulido Valente wrote: “It has been said that João Braga renewed Fado. It has not yet been said that there is nothing more difficult than renewing a type of old tradition without betraying it. That’s what João Braga achieved, with patience, love and knowledge. The Fado he sings is still Fado and is a different Fado. Not just because he used great Portuguese poetry. Any mediocre person could undertake this futile exercise. But because he found himself in her and through her he revealed himself. Just listen. The music is not limited to accompanying or interpreting the poem, it merges with it, transfigures it and creates, in the true sense of the word, an original and unique object of art that belongs to him, João Braga, to his vision and to the your voice.”
The beginning of his recording career takes place in 1967 with the release of his first album, É Tão Bom Cantar o Fado.
In 1971 he organizes the 1st Cascais International Jazz Festival.
He releases, however, seven more albums — Canção Futura (1977), Miserere (1978), Arraial (1980), Na Paz do Teu Amor (1982), appearing for the first time as the author of melodies, setting poems from Fernando Pessoa to Pedro Homem de Mello on the album Do João Braga Para a Amália (1984), Portugal/Mensagem, de Pessoa (1985) and O Pão e a Alma (1987) and then focus his activity on concerts and musical composition, having 1990s, contributed to the renewal of the fado scene through invitations to young performers to integrate its concerts.
In 1990 his first CD, Terra de Fados, is a success with more than thirty thousand copies sold.
He was distinguished, among others, with the Medal of Cultural Merit from the Municipality of Lisbon (1990), Neves de Sousa Prize from Casa da Imprensa (1995), Medal of Merit from the Portuguese Red Cross (1996), Career Prize from Casa da Imprensa (1999) and with the Commendation of the Order of Infante D. Henrique (2006), having also received, in 2014, the Gold Medal of the City of Lisbon.
In 2017, after several other edited works, he released the album “Outrora Agora” with recordings of some of his classics and unpublished themes and celebrated, in that same year, 50 years of career with a special concert at Teatro Municipal São Luiz where he had several friends on stage.
João Braga reveals himself today as one of the most emblematic voices in the History of Fado, singing and honoring the best Portuguese poets, revealing: “my first passion, really passion, is poetry”.