By Gregory Scruggs, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The former nightclub Jazzmania, which long ago occupied the upstairs of the beachfront Arpoador corner at Avenues Vieira Souto and Rainha Elizabeth, has reopened as Studio RJ. Affiliated with the São Paulo independent nightlife staple Studio SP, the Rio version is now a permanent fixture above Bar Astor after three consecutive summers promoting shows at other venues around town.
With an opening night show on September 27th that brought out musical celebrities like Caetano Veloso, Seu Jorge, and Hermano Vianna, Studio RJ is now into its first full month of live programming as the summer season arrives.
No better place to be, in that case, than in trendy Arpoador with a marquee view of the ocean just to the side of Posto 8. Their smoking area, on a balcony overlooking the waterfront, boldly claims on a sign to be “the most beautiful in Rio”.
The club clearly intends to capitalize on the beach-going crowd by promoting a “pós-praia” (post-beach) party every Sunday from 7PM onwards.
The rest of the week, however, will be a healthy mix of live music and DJs, creating one of the few clubs versatile enough to handle such a diverse crowd. Tuesdays will be Jazzmania night, paying homage to the club that held court from 1983-1994.
Wednesdays will feature up and coming Brazilian bands promoted by independent music network “Circuito Fora do Eixo” (Off the Axis Circuit) in a series called “Cedo e Sentado” (Early and Seated), a rare phenomenon in Carioca nightlife.
Thursdays through Saturdays will borrow the Studio SP model of a show on the early side and DJs on the late side, with free admission to the party for those who came to the show.
“I think the doubled-up show plus party has all the right stuff to become one of the hits of this summer in Rio,” proffered Chico Dub, who is hosting his two-year-old party Dancing Cheetah at Studio RJ on Thursday, October 20th.
“Any venue that opens in Rio has my sympathy, as the city is notorious for having too few small and medium-sized stages. In the particular case of Studio RJ, they have both my sympathy and admiration,” Chico continued.
Mike Smith, a ex-New Yorker who lives in Ipanema explains: “It’s great to have more nightlife in Arpoador, the location – which is right on the border of Ipanema – is so beautiful and close to the beach, I’m surprised there has not been more happening there.”
Of course, a privileged location and a chic crowd doesn’t come cheap. While Wednesday nights are free (a huge incentive alone to check out Studio RJ), most shows or parties will set you back R$25-30 on the lista amiga (closed at 6PM the day of the event) or R$30-50 otherwise. Drinks start at R$7 for Bohemia or Budweiser.