Castilho was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1970 and began playing at age 9. His first contacts with stringed instruments took place at his grandfather's farm, where he played the "cavaquinho" with locals, using picks made of ox horn. But only for 13 years, encouraged by his father, Alberto Castillo (trumpet player), began to study music seriously.
His first performance as a professional musician came in 1991 while still finishing the course in Civil Engineering. It was with the group Mr. Jazz, which he was one of the creators. With a repertoire consisting of jazz and MPB standards, they performed in concert halls in Rio de Janeiro with great success.
Later, he was invited by keyboardist and producer Fabio Fonseca to be part of his band, which opened the doors to Brazilian pop music. Also with Fonseca, he had his first experience in the studio, recording the song "Lôrabúrra" with Gabriel Pensador (1993). In the same he was called to record the album "Bolero" the singer Nana Caymmi.
In early 1994, the singer Ed Motta invited Castilho to join his new band and, during two years, they performed around Brazil and Europe.
With singer Sandra de Sá, he had his first experience as music director. In 1997 the show to launch the CD "The moon Know Who I Am" with the general direction of Miguel Falabella. After the debut in Rio and Sao Paulo, toured with the show throughout Brazil.
In early 1998 Castilho rejoined Ed Motta, this time as musical director and guitarist for his new show "Manual Prático para Bailes, Festas e Afins". At the end of this year there was a call that resulted in a great moment in his career. It was to participate as a special guest of Roberto Carlos's concert at Rede Globo TV broadcast. Alongside Robertinho do Recife and Joao Lyra, Castilho completed the trio of acoustic guitars which played with .
In 1998 he was invited by the singer-songwriter Djavan to join his band. With it, she performed in concerts in Brazil and abroad and recorded two CDs, "Bicho Solto, o XIII" and "Ao Vivo" (which peaked at over 2 million copies sold and also turned into a DVD). Earlier this year he released his first solo album EQUILIBRIUM and is currently in production of their second CD.
Alongside Renato "Massa" Calmon (drums), Marcelo Martins (saxophone) and Jefferson Lescowich (bass), Castilho form the group FOCO. With two CDs released, "Foco" and "Tempo Bom com Chuva", the group is in the process of composing his third Cd
Published by HMP, Castilho released book called "Estudando Improvisação - A Teoria Explorada de Forma Musical." A new approach to the practice of musical improvisation. Published by Lumiar, with André Rodrigues (bass) and Renato "Massa" Calmon (drums), João Castilho released the version acoustic and electric guitars of the book "Toque Junto".
Besides those already mentioned above, he also worked alongside artists such as Maria Bethania (which can be seen on the DVDs Maricotinha, Brasileirinho and Tempo, Tempo, Tempo), Miucha, Lisa Nilsson (Swedish singer), Ivan Lins, Eumir Deodato, Mads Vindings, Fernando Moura, Simone, Leny Andrade, João Caetano, Ivete Sangalo, Sandy and Junior, Zé Renato, among others.
Castilho is a musician who always aims to build a solid link between how he feels the music inside and what runs through his electric and acoustic guitar, always mindful that this relationship does not cause any conflict. Free of musical prejudices, he is always open to all kinds of musical expression that comes to him.
Castilho uses SG Strings, Santo Angelo cables, Landscape equipment, Mooer micro effects and Music Maker guitars.