Virtually nothing is known about Italian-born guitarist Giovanni Battista Marella. His name first appeared in the late 1740s when he was first violinist of the Concert Spirituel in Paris. By 1750 he had moved to Dublin where he directed the ‘Band of Musick at the New Gardens’ and played both the violin and the viola d´amour.
In 1754 he married the singer Eleonara Oldmixon, a daughter of the playwright John Oldmixon. They settled in London and gave their first joint concert in the Little Theatre at Haymarket in January 1755. He was a pioneer of the guitar being the first guitarist ever to play a solo evening in Britain. In 1758 he published Sixty-six lessons for cister or guitar. In 1762 he wrote a second and last work in this style Compositions for the Cetra or Guitar. In 1763 he was recorded as a teacher of guitar at Great Pulteney Street, Golden Square. His last documented performance was in 1778.