Live Brazilian Music

Bossa Nova, Jazz, MPB, Samba and more !

It's easy to find live Brazilian music in Rio de Janeiro most nights of the week. Clubs and concert halls are located in the neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Gavea, Botafogo, Lapa and elsewhere.



On this page, we provide information about our favorite live Brazilian music venues and the genre of music played at each. We couldn't possibly cover all types of Brazilian music played at concert halls and nightclubs in Rio, so we cover the most sought after by foreign travelers.

Rio de Janeiro has one of the most vibrant, live Brazilian music scenes in Brazil. Only Sao Paulo has a more varied and eclectic music scene, but Rio de Janeiro wins hands down for presenting live Samba and Bossa Nova shows.

Bossa Nova is the most internationally famous music from Brazil, and it has permeated the fabric of the entire country, especially in Rio. However, as Bossa Nova's popularity peaked in the late 1960's, it's not played in nightclubs much any more. There has been a resurgence of the Bossa Nova style by such famous singers as Bebel Gilberto and Maria Rita, both daughters of famous 1960's musicians.

Samba music is played most every night of the week in the famous Samba Dance Clubs (Gafieiras)in Rio's Bohemian Lapa district. We have dedicated an entire page to Rio de Janeiro's Samba Dance Clubs and thus, will not repeat the information on this page.

MPB, the acronym for Popular Brazilian Music, covers a wide range of music styles including Samba, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Pop, and Pop Rock. It's played on many local Brazilian radio stations and in all types of live venues. The most popular radio station in Rio de Janeiro is MPB 90.3 FM.

Please visit our Live Streaming Brazilian Music page where we bring MPB to you at high speed over the internet 24 hours a day!

Our Favorite Live Brazilian Music Venues

Morro da Urca (Verão do Morro)

Bebel Gilberto Concert Poster

Location - Praça General Tiburcio, Urca. Tel- 55 21 2295 7149. Admission varies, depending on the show. Open late evening on weekends during the summer months.

Morro da Urca is the first stop on the cable car that ascends to the world famous Sugarloaf Mountain in Guanabara Bay. Urca has a larger flatter tip than Sugarloaf and a large entertainment complex has been built up there, which includes a covered amphitheater which holds 1650 people and multiple open air and covered indoor/outdoor bars and dance areas.

The "Verão do Morro" (Summer on the mountain) music program is a popular summer concert series for which big name acts are booked to play late at night on Morro da Urca. These shows usually start late, as we found out when attending a Bebel Gilberto concert that was billed to begin at 10pm but started at midnight!

In addition to live Brazilian Music, dancing, and drinking, you'll enjoy incomparable night time views of well lit Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara Bay.

The Verão do Morro website gives basic information on who will be playing and when. Pick up a Veja Rio guide for more details and for information on where to buy tickets. You may also be able to buy tickets at Modern Sound (see further below review of Allegro Bistro Musical).


Estrella da Lapa

Estrella da Lapa

Location - Avenida Mem de Sá 69, Lapa. Tel- 55 21 2507 6686. Admission US $10 - $15. Open Tuesday - Saturday, most shows start at 10pm.

Estrella da Lapa is one of the newer additions to the dance and live Brazilian music scene in Lapa. Whereas most clubs in Lapa offer just Samba music, this club invites bands who play an eclectic variety of music including Roda de Samba, Sambalanço, MPB, Jazz, Samba Soul, R&B and Rock.

Set in a refurbished mansion built in 1989, Estrella da Lapa is a wonderful place to hear some top notch local and regional bands. Use your Google language translator and check the club's schedule on Estrella da Lapa's website. Call ahead to reserve a table, and when visiting Lapa we recommend catching a taxi to and from your hotel.


Vinicius Piano Bar

Bar Vinicius

Location - Rua Vinicius de Moraes 39, Ipanema. Tel- 55 21 2287 1487. Admission US $20. Shows start at 11pm.

Bar Vinicius is one of the few clubs in Ipanema, or in all of Rio for that matter, which is dedicated to Bossa Nova music. Bar Vinicius features such regular acts such as Maria Creuza and the Bossa Trio. Other Bossa Nova singers and musicians play at the club, and although not well known, they are highly talented musicians who play all of the Bossa Nova standards.

Set on the second floor of a building on the corner across from the famous Garota de Ipanema, Bar Vinicius is a smaller club with numerous tables and booths set up around the stage making an intimate setting. The drinks are pretty reasonable and the place has recently become nonsmoking, so it makes for a romantic and low key night out to hear some superb Bossa Nova music.

To check the show schedule, visit the Bar Vinicius Website.


Bip Bip

Location - Rua Almirante Goncalves, Copacabana. Tel- 55 21 2267 4022. Admission free. Open 6pm -1am every day. Music usually starts around 8pm and ends Sundays and week nights around 10pm.

Bip Bip (pronounced Beep-pae Beep-pae) is a small storefront bar in Copacabana near Arpoador, at which a variety of live Brazilian music is played including Samba, Bossa Nova, Pagode (romantic Samba), and Choro (Brazilian folk music). Musicians sit and play informally around small tables inside the bar, while patrons gather around standing or sitting near the front entrance or out on the sidewalk.

Cold Brahma beer is served by the quirky owner, Alfredo Melo, who between sets often orates about social inequities between Rio de Janeiro's rich and poor. Donations are solicited for local social causes and the music continues past 10pm most evenings.

Bip Bip is a Copacabana institution where well known local musicians drop by to play. The musicians who play at Bip Bip aren't in it for the money, they are here for jam sessions, free beer, and to help Melo raise money for his social projects.

The nightly schedule varies, with most recently, Sundays being reserved for Samba, Tuesdays for Choro, and Wednesdays for Bossa Nova. During the Sunday night Samba music sessions dancers spill out onto the sidewalk.

Even if you can't stay long, it's well worth having a beer out on the sidewalk while taking in sights and sounds that you will only find in Rio de Janeiro.


Melt

Melt Nightclub

Location - Rua Rita Ludolf 47, Leblon. Tel- 55 21 2249 9309. Admission R $10 - $40 depending on the entertainment. 10pm - 4am, closed Sundays.

Melt alternates between having live Brazilian music and DJs so we include it under the Rio de Janeiro nightclubs category as well as in the live music category.

Located in the upscale Leblon neighborhood, Melt is just a quick taxi cab ride from Ipanema and about a 15 minute ride from Copacabana. Despite its Leblon address, Melt is a surprisingly unpretentious nightclub with a relaxed atmosphere. People dress down when partying at Melt while seeing some fantastic local talent.

Depending on the agenda, you will hear MPB (Popular Brazilian Music), Samba Rock, Hip Hop, Dance Music, Pop Rock, Samba da Roda, Electro Samba, ...you name it!

Melt's website includes a current schedule of events (click on the Agenda photo near the bottom left of the home page).


Toca do Vinicius

Toca do Vinicius

Location - Rua Vinicius de Moraes 129, Ipanema. Tel 55 21 2247 5227. Admission Free (donations accepted). 7pm most Sundays.

This small record shop, located in the heart of Ipanema, is dedicated to Vinicius de Moraes, who was one the great Bossa Nova singer songwriters. Although less famous than Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim, many Bossa Nova fans believe Vinicius had the most influence on the genre. We heard Milton Nascimento recently proclaim "Vinicius was the man".

In addition to offering a huge selection of Bossa Nova CDs, songbooks, and a small museum on the second floor, Toca do Vinicius presents live Brazilian Music of Bossa Nova and Samba musicians most Sundays on the sidewalk in front of the store.

The shows start at 7pm, a crowd quickly gathers, and it lasts about 90 minutes. Featured are local musicians , some more well known than others, and include both old timers and younger players who put their own spin on the classics.

To determine if there will be live Brazilian music played here while you are in town, visit the Toca do Vinicius website or stop by the store to check the schedule.


Allegro Bistro Musical

Location - Modern Sound Music Store, Rua Barata Ribeiro 502, Copacabana. Tel- 55 21 2548 5005. Admission free. Open 9am - 9pm Mon - Sat.

Allegro Bistro Musical (moo-zi-cowl)is located in the back of Modern Sound, one of the largest CD stores and concert ticket sellers in Rio. The Bistro hosts live Brazilian music events daily, mostly Jazz, MPB and Bossa Nova.

Allegro Bistro Musical is the perfect place to hang out for a couple hours on a rainy afternoon. Browse through the thousands of music titles available at Modern Sound while listening to live Brazilian music being played in the background at the Bistro, which is situated just off the first floor.

Modern Sound also sells tickets for most events and concerts happening in Rio de Janeiro, and some of the helpful store clerks speak English.

Insider's Tip - Tables in the bistro area fill up quickly, so the best time to snag one to hear the live Brazilian music is just after one band finishes or 20 minutes before the next band starts. If you can't get a seat in the Bistro area, you can hear the music from anywhere in the store. There are small tables in an adjacent area from which you can enjoy a drink while watching the band from a distance.

Allegro Bistro Musical


Lapa 40°

40°  Gafieira and nightclub

Location - Rua Riachuelo 97, Lapa. Tel - 55 21 3970-1338. Open daily for happy hour until 10pm. Live Brazilian music starts 11pm. Admission US $3 for Happy Hour and US $10-$20 after 11pm for the live music.

Lapa 40° (quarenta graus), as its name implies, is currently a very hot, live Brazilian music and dance club. Lapa 40° refers to 40° Celsius which translates to 104° Fahrenheit, a temperature that Rio de Janeiro can reach during its sweltering summers. Lapa 40° is one of the newer additions to the Lapa district music scene and is located in a fantastically restored 3 story building.

Patrons can access the first and second floors during "happy hour" for $R 5, enjoy cheap draft beer, play pool and, most days, enjoy live acoustic music up until about 11pm.

Lapa 40° has its main bar or choperia located on the first floor. This large area is filled with square wooden tables and has a mosaic tile floor designed to imitate the sidewalks found in Copacabana Beach. The place has a very upscale look and feel to it.

The club's "sinuca" area (snooker or pool hall) is located on the second floor and is packed with a dozen or more pool tables and another bar. The first floor also has a few pool tables but most are in this area.

The third floor holds the "Gafieira" or dance hall and yet another bar. It's here that bands play live Brazilian music and people dance like mad. Throughout the week regional up-and-coming bands blast Pop-Rock, Samba, Choro and occasionally Forro music. (Brazilian country music). No matter what genre of live Brazilian music is being played, people will dance and party into the wee hours of the morning.

Visit the 40°website to check the current live music schedule. (click on "programaçao")


Circo Voador (The Flying Circus)

Circo Voador

Rua dos Arcos, Lapa. Tel - 55 (21) 2533-0354. Admission R $40-$60 depending on the show.

The Circo Voador, or Fying Circus, is a large open dome shaped building located beneath the Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches/Aqueduct). This venue offers a wide variety of live Brazilian music and shows including new local artists, Baile Funk, Samba, and famous Brazilian musicians such as Jorge Ben Jor, Maria Rita, Martinho da Vila, and Diogo Nogueira.

The open air nature of the Circo Voador makes for a comfortable tropical music experience even during the peak of summer. You also can hear the music even as you step out onto the large uncovered patio.

Tickets for shows are sold through Ingresso.com, the Brazilian version of USA's Ticketmaster. Buying tickets on line is difficult if nearly impossible for foreigners to accomplish. Your best bet is to check the Circo Voador website for the program schedule and then stop by the Americanas.com Kiosk at Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 142/146 in Ipanema, or at the Modern Sound music store featured on this page.


Feira de São Cristóvão

Music at the Feira de São Cristóvão

Location - Campo de São Cristóvão, São Cristóvão. Tel: 55-21-2580-5335. Admission Free. T-R 10am -4pm (market); Fri 10am - Sunday 10pm continuously open.(market and music).

The Feira de São Cristóvão, or Feira Nordestina as it is commonly known, is the huge market that features food, culture, crafts, and live Brazilian music from the Northeast region of the country.

The Feira is housed in a large open air arena of sorts, with more than 700 vendors all located under odd looking permanent covered blue stalls. More than 250,000 people visit the Feira Nordestina each month. The place ramps up on the weekends as the food, entertainment, and craft selling continues nonstop from Friday morning until Sunday evening.

Bands play mostly Forró, which is the traditional country music of the northeast. People dance all day and night on the floors in front of the various bandstands. The martial arts dance Capoeira is presented in "circles" to music played on traditional Afro-Brazilian instruments.

The Feira de São Cristóvão has become very well organized, safe and secure over the past several years. There are numerous bathrooms, private security, places to sit and eat, ATMs, etc. It's best to arrive and leave by taxi versus trying to navigate the bus or metro system. This way you can arrive or leave as early or late as you prefer, and can safely stow your treasures away inside the taxi.

As the market is mostly covered, it's a great place to visit on a rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon to enjoy Northeastern Brazilian culture, food, and music.


TribOz Jazz Club

TribOz Jazz Club

Location - Rua Conde de Lages, 19, Lapa. Tel 2210 0366

Also known as the Brazilian-Australian Cultural Center, TribOz bills itself as the first real Jazz club in the traditional Samba Club saturated Lapa district of Rio de Janeiro.

Australian owner and Jazz musician Mike Ryan prides himself in the notion that "Experimentation in contemporary music, an infinite world of improvisation, new jazz and bossa are only a few of the musical forms we find at TribOz".

On screen videos of Jazz, Bossa Nova, and other live Brazilian music is played during the Happy Hour from 8pm - 10pm. Live Music starts at 9pm with a cover charge between R$15 - R$20. As this club's operating schedule varies, it's best to check the TribOz website for the program performances during your visit to Rio.


Jazz at the Maze Inn

Jazz at the Maze Inn (photo courtesy of the Maze Inn)

Location - Rua Tavares Bastos 414, Casa 66, Catete. Tel: 21 2558 5547

The Maze Inn, perched in the hills above the Catete neighborhood, opened its doors as a guesthouse in 2004. In 2006, "Jazz at the Maze" started out as a small gathering on the first Friday of every month and is now drawing crowds of up to 500 people.

Link to the Maze Inn website.



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