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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While there will be many official and special shows/concerts during the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics, visitors and locals can find performances of live music from multiple genres in many venues throughout the city every night of the week. The following is list of some of the best live music venues, pubs and bars to check out in Rio during the games and during the remainder of 2016.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News, Brazil, Rio Scenarium, Nightlife in Rio de Janeiro, Venues in Rio de Janeiro, Pubs in Rio de Janeiro, Bars in Rio de Janeiro
The band Selfie Service providing accompaniment during a Karaoke event at Rio Rio Scenarium, photo by Josimar Oliveira, courtesy of Rio Scenarium.

For great places to hear live performances of Brazilian genres like samba, choro, MPB, forró, and bossa-nova, there is no shortage of venues. In the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Lapa two well known venues are Carioca da Gema and the Leviano Bar. Carioca da Gema hosts great live samba and dancing, while Leviano with its two floors hosts live acts performing everything from samba to forró to rock.

Nearby in Centro, Rio Scenarium is well known for its lively nights complete with dancing. The venue hosts national samba, choro, MPB, forró, and bossa artists. On weekends, live music is presented on two stages usually with DJs spinning in the Salão Anexo. On the main stage on Fridays and Saturdays, following other acts, a forró group or artist will begin their performance at 3AM and then play until sunrise.

For a great night of dancing, many also head to Pedra do Sal for the weekly Monday night roda de samba. Taking place in the birthplace of Rio samba, the events are known for their casual and easygoing atmosphere with people dancing well into the night.

Trapiche Gamboa in the neighborhood of Gamboa is another great venue for live Brazilian music from various genres.

In addition to Rio’s larger live music venues which include Vivo Rio in Flamengo; Praça da Apoteose in Centro, and Metropolitan Rio and HSBC Arena (where Olympic events will take place) in Barra da Tijuca; Rio has medium-sized venues that host International acts and Brazilian bands and musicians.

One of the most beloved medium-sized venues in the city is Circo Voador in Lapa. The venue is known to host a variety of national and international acts. International bands and performers thus far this year have included José González, Children of Bodom, and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble while national acts have included Clarice Falcão and Hamilton de Holanda.

Also in Lapa and next door to Circo Voador, the venue Fundição Progresso is known to welcome national and international musicians and bands throughout the year. The venue recently hosted the reggae and rap festival, “Encontro das Tribos” with guests Rael, Costa Gold, Modestiaparte, Raizes Que Tocam, Dub Ataque, and Chimarruts performing live.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News, Brazil, Rio Scenarium, Nightlife in Rio de Janeiro, Venues in Rio de Janeiro, Pubs in Rio de Janeiro, Bars in Rio de Janeiro
The Lapa Irish Pub is known for hosting live bands that range from rock to metal to traditional Irish music, photo by Chesney Hearst.

Nearby, next to the famous Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches) The Lapa Irish Pub hosts a variety of bands ranging from classic rock to blues to traditional Irish music.

In Botafogo, Saloon 79 regularly presents great live rock acts. Also in Botafogo, bands ranging from rock to experimental are known to perform at the Audio Rebel music store.

Bar do B in Laranjeiras regularly hosts great live blues nights and rock parties while The Maze in Tavares Bastos is internationally known for its monthly live jazz sessions which feature international and local guests performing in the unique venue which features stunning views overlooking the city.

In Copacabana, The Lucky Screw American Irish Pub is known to welcome live rock acts and Barzin in Ipanema often hosts live rock and sertaneja bands and singers.

The venues, bars, and pubs listed above are by no means all that Rio will have to offer, be sure to watch The Rio Times Nightlife Guide for daily listings of events hosted throughout the city.

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