Brazil‘s vibrant and infectious music is known all around the world, with the reverberating chords of the samba, the romantic notes of the bossa nova and the pulsating beats of the salsa, transporting listeners to the white sandy beaches of Rio de Janeiro. And what better than to hear this music live? Incorporating everything from vivacious night spots to dynamic dancehalls and relaxed music lounges, these are our top 10 spots for live music in Rio.
At Bip-Bip you can enjoy one of the most traditional sounds of Samba in Rio de Janeiro. This charming barzinho is so small they don’t even have a waiter, because they don’t need one; guests can retrieve their own ice-cold beers from the fridges when they arrive. Three tables put together form one long table for those who are lucky enough to get a seat, and when the talented musicians start playing, including the likes of Beth Carvalho and Nelson Sargento, everything comes to life. There’s lively and popular samba here every weekend, choro (short for chorinho, a romantic intimate samba) on Mondays and Tuesdays, and bossa nova every Wednesday.
Address and Telephone: Bip Bip, Rua Alm Gonçalves, 50 – Copacabana Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22060-040 – Brazil; 021 2267-9696
If you came to Rio to discover how the locals do it, you’ve arrived at the right place. To immerse yourself in an authentic Brazilian experience go to the Renascença Clube. A group of musicians gather weekly here around a table for a jam session, and before you know it, you’re right in the middle of a crazy samba party. If you want to meet new people, you don’t mind large crowds and you are a big fan of Samba, this spot will fit you like a glove.
Address and Telephone: Renascença Clube, R. Barão de São Francisco, 54 – Andaraí,Rio de Janeiro – RJ,20560-032,Brasil; +55 21 3253-2322
Located in the heart of the bohemian neighborhood of Lapa, this is a unique venue in Rio. It is a large mansion, run by an Australian, showcasing the best of Brazilian and international Jazz. A quirky requirement here is that audiences are to remain silent for the entirety of all musical performances. The mission here is to offer musicians a space for creative freedom, with an emphasis on improvisation, composition and experimentation, and since its opening in 2008 TribOz has also gained quite a reputation and is considered the leader of live jazz presentations in Rio de Janeiro.
Address and Telephone: : TribOz, Rua Conde de Lages, 19, Lapa, 20241-080 Rio de Janeiro – RJ; Brazil – (21) 22100366
Students, locals and curious tourists visit Casa Rosa day in and day out, the eclectic mix of music styles making this spot on the hill of Laranjeiras a must-stop for every traveller in Rio. Make zero plans for Sunday evening, ’cause the ronda de samba starts at 5 pm, where you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious traditional feijoada on the terrace overlooking the beautiful Rio de Janeiro whilst listening to some seriously good tunes.
Opening hours: Fri-Sat 11pm to 6am; Sun 5pm to 12 am.
Watch out for: It’s also a good idea to visit the club on a Saturday. We recommend getting the evening started with a strawberry caipifruta and dancing the night away!
Address and Telephone: Casa Rosa, R. Alice, 550 – Laranjeiras,Rio de Janeiro – RJ,22241-020,Brasil; +55 21 2557-2562
Carioca da Gema
Live music is an essential part of this country’s history and everyday life; it’s everywhere you look, right on the beach, in restaurants, in bars and on the street. And whilst in Rio, you just can’t pass on the chance to visit the most traditional live music spot in town. Since 2000 the Café Musical Carioca da Gema has presented the best of popular Brazilian music through its two most renowned genres, samba and bossa nova. The coldest beer, the best musicians, the most energetic beats and the happiest crowd make this spot a must on your wishlist.
Address and Telephone: Carioca da Gema, Av. Mem de Sá, 79 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20230-150, Brazil; +55 21 2221-0043
The relaxed ambiance and the friendly crowd here will make you feel at home instantly. With a perfect location, right where the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema meet, the playlists you’ll hear at Studio RJ combine the best of old school Brazilian music with upbeat, modern tunes. Stop by for a relaxed post-beach session on Sunday evening, or for live DJ sets every Tuesday night. Live shows usually start around 9:30 pm on weekdays and 12 am on weekends, and the DJs keep the crowd enthusiastic and excited until early in the morning.
Address and Telephone: Studio RJ, Av. Vieira Souto, 110 – Ipanema,Rio de Janeiro – RJ,22420-000,Brasil;
Casarão Ameno Resedá
A classy, elegant, Brazilian-style restaurant which features live performances throughout the evening; can you think of anything more perfect? The beautifully restored Casarão Ameno Resedá is right in the corner of Rua Bento Lisboa, an area filled with a large amount of original and enthralling architecture. The perfect dining room here provides the setting for guests to enjoy a traditional feijoada, a pork and bean stew, along with a samba session on the last Sunday of each month. Well known musicians such as Elsa Soares have already graced the stage here, and dancers can enjoy pagode jazz, samba and MPB throughout the entire week.
Address and Telephone: Rua Pedro Américo, 277 – Catete,Catete,Rio de Janeiro – RJ,22221-011, Brasil; +55 21 2556-2427
At Rio Scenarium you’ll get to enjoy not only the most amazing samba rhythms, but also interesting antiques! Film props, costumes, masks and several other historical artefacts adorn the walls here and make the place a seriously photogenic spot. Too shy to hit the dance floor? The super strong caipirinhas prepared by the barman will undoubtedly help to take the edge off. Check out all of the upcoming events on their website to choose the night that suits you best.
Address and Telephone: Rio Scenarium, Rua do Lavradio, 20 – Centro, Cep 20230-070 – Rio de Janeiro – RJ, Brazil;
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