She started playing music as a child, after having learned the basics of reading musical notation, seven years later she began to record songs on cassette tapes. Her real musical training begins at the age of thirteen, when she began to give concerts in the bars of São Paulo, playing music by Adoniran Barbosa, Marisa Monte and Chico Buarque.
In 2008 she moved to Rio de Janeiro and began playing in bars, and she attracted the attention of famous musicians such as Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, João Donato among others. Maria Gadu gained renown playing “Ne me quitte pas” by Jacques Brel for Jayme Monjardim, who was in preproduction of the television series Maysa – Quando Fala o Coração (“Maysa, when the heart communicates”). Maysa Matarazzo, singer and mother of the director, had been very successful in the 1950s and 1960s singing this song, among others. Gadú’s version was soon included in the soundtrack of the series that would premiere in January 2009. Gadú also had a small acting part in the series. As 2009 began, Maria Gadú prepared her first album for the Som Livre sublabel Slap. She currently sings “Blue Velvet” with Tony Bennett on his cd Viva Duets.
In 2011 Maria was on tour with her mentor and friend Caetano Veloso. In 2015, her album Guelã was nominated for the 16th Latin Grammy Awards in the Best MPB Album category.