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By Thaís Britto, Contributing Reporter

Maria Creuza at Vinícius Bar, Ipanema, photo by Nao Lizuka/Flickr Creative Commons License.
Maria Creuza at Vinícius Bar, Ipanema, photo by Nao Lizuka/Flickr Creative Commons License.

RIO DE JANEIRO – If you are a music lover, Rio is a good place to be at any time of the year. The richness of Brazilian music is well known all over the world and in a few days around the city it will be possible to take a glimpse of why rhythm runs through the veins of Cariocas.

From Friday Rio celebrates a state holiday, and the long weekend is a good opportunity to sample some good music, whether live or recorded, Brazilian or foreign, to dance to, relax to or just to sing along.

The weekend starts on Thursday night, a perfect time to hear some Bossa Nova. The genre, which firmly placed Brazil in the global music scene, created a new way of singing and composing, mixing samba and jazz at the end of the 1950s. The results are legendary songs like “Garota de Ipanema” and “Chega de Saudade” and you can enjoy their sound at Vinicius Bar in Ipanema, the very neighborhood which gave birth to Bossa Nova.

The restaurant stands in the same street and beside the same bar where Tom Jobim composed the world famous song about the enchanting girl who walked towards the sea. Vinicius’ show doesn’t start until 11PM so if you’re an early sleeper, maybe it’s a good idea to change route to a close neighbourhood: Copacabana. Every Thursday, the group Bossa Jazz Trio presents at Allegro Bistrô, inside Modern Sound music store, from 5-9PM. Finally for all true Bossa Nova lovers, João Donato one of the most respected musicians in the country, will be performing in Sala Baden Powell, in Copacabana, every Thursday in November.

The beautiful Centro Cultural Carioca. Photo by CCC website.
The beautiful Centro Cultural Carioca, photo by Centro Cultural Carioca.

When Friday comes there can be no argument; go to Lapa. The bohemian neighbourhood emerged from the total decadence of the 80’s and 90’s to become the focal point of the city’s nightlife nowadays. Although its main characteristic is to put together all different types of audience and music, Lapa is really the home of Samba.

Of the literally hundreds of options to visit some are truly essential, such as Carioca da Gema. The club was the stage to reveal some of the best singers from the new generation of Samba and Chorinho. Every Friday one of these – Teresa Cristina – performs with her group Semente.

Nearby you can find Sacrilégio, where the music is rather more danceable, presented in a style known as Samba de Roda and this Friday, the attraction is singer Jorginho do Império. A few streets ahead you will find Lapa’s “nerve center”, the historical mansion that houses Centro Cultural Carioca and gives a good opportunity to see some of the city’s history and, of course, listen to some good samba.

Already tired of all this Brazilian music? Ready for something more universal? So, it’s time to rock’n’roll. Saturday is the day and Botafogo is the neighborhood. The head banging can start at Bar Bukowski, a club named after the writer who made the famous triad of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll seem trivial matter. The wandering bar – which has already be in three different addresses in Rio – has, besides the music, a pool table, narghile/shisha pipes and darts.

For a more ‘Pop’ option, its a good idea to check Far-Up. The club has a live band every Saturday playing all kinds of 90’s Pop-Rock but if Indie Rock is your thing, you have no other place to be on Saturday night; Casa da Matriz hosts Paradiso party, Indie’s favourite stage for new musical discoveries captained by DJ Edinho, one of the most respected Rock DJs in Brazil, along with his partner Tito Figueiredo.

If you’re still alive on Sunday after this marathon, maybe it’s time for the most challenging rhythm: Funk Carioca. It’s almost impossible to stay still to the sound that is today one of the most sampled for DJs and pop bands around the globe. This funk has nothing to do with the 70’s genre but instead has its roots in Rio’s favelas. The best place to check it is in Castelo das Pedras, a club located at Rio das Pedras in the West Side of Rio. It’s a bit far from downtown and main touristic areas but it’s safe, it’s fun and on Sundays is hosts the best “baile”. Just don’t expect to stay still.

VINICIUS BAR
Rua Vinicius de Moraes 39, Ipanema.
Info: 2287-1497
November 19th attraction is singer Maria Creuza.
At 11PM
Price: R$38

MODERN SOUND
Rua Barata Ribeiro 502 D, Copacabana
Info: 2548-5005
November 19th attraction is Bossa Jazz Trio.
From 5PM to 9PM
Free

SALA BADEN POWELL
Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 360, Copacabana
Info: 2548-0421.
November 19th with João Donato and Wanda Sá.
At 7:30PM
Price: R$30

CARIOCA DA GEMA
Av. Mem de Sá 79, Lapa.
Info: 2221-0043
November 20th with Teresa Cristina and Semente.
At 9PM
Price: R$22

SACRILÉGIO
Av. Mem de Sá 81, Lapa.
Info: 3970-1461
November 20th with singer Jorginho do Império.
At 10:30PM
Price: R$22

CENTRO CULTURAL CARIOCA
Rua do Teatro 37, Lapa
Info: 2252-6468
November 20th with singer Letícia Tuí.
At 10:30PM
Price: R$20

BAR BUKOWSKI
Rua Álvaro Ramos 270, Botafogo.
Info: 2244-7303
At 11PM
Price: R$20

FAR UP
Rua Voluntários da Pátria 448, Lj 46, Botafogo.
Info: 2286-2614
At 8PM
Price: R$15 (women) and R$25 (men)

CASA DA MATRIZ
Rua Henrique de Novaes 107, Botafogo.
Info: 2226-9691
At 11PM
Price: R$22

CASTELO DAS PEDRAS
Estrada de Jacarepaguá 3.600, Rio das Pedras.
Info: 3415-2992
At 11PM
Price: R$10 (men) and free (women till midnight)

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