Samba is the soul of Rio de Janeiro. Without samba there would be no carnaval. The entire music history of Brazil would be missing so much, since so many Brazilian styles were born from it. (bossa nova, tropicália, MPB)
Here we suggest some videos for you to watch and get in the samba spirit
For a great taste of Samba and Brazil itself, this video which gives life to disney characters Donald Duck and Joe Carioca, really is special. Sung by legendary Brazilian musician Carmen Miranda, it captures the spirit of Rio delightfully well.
Marisa Monte is a brazilian music goddess. Check out beautiful song
A great example of a lively, funky Samba band that plays around Rio. We saw these in in the musical heartbeat of Rio - Lapa, they had the whole bar on the dancefloor going wild. Great band
Check out our party section if it's live music venues and clubs you're looking for. For concerts and shows, check out the next tab.
Unfortunately Rio isn't host to any major festivals, much more common are big shows. Most of the main festivals in Brazil are held in São Paulo. It's a short flight away or a 5 hour bus journey, but it'll be worth it! The biggest ones in 2016 are:
Tomorrowland Brasil: the world’s biggest electronic music festival returns to South America. With everything from EDM and trance to minimal house and techno, the newest member of the Tomorrowland family blew apart the Brazilian countryside in 2015 – and now it’s back for more. Check out the insanely good after video from last year.
Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta, Steve Angello and many more of the biggest DJs in the world will lead an army of visual and staging experts, as close-up performance artists patrol the whole festival area from the Dreamville campsite to the spectacular stages. If this is your kind of thing, it's an insanely good festival! Go for the day, or go all out and camp for 4 nights of Tomorrowland madness.
Lollapalooza is an annual music festival featuring popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and EDM bands and artists, dance and comedy performances and craft booths. It has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups and various visual artists. Lollapalooza 2016 will be host to some amazing artists such as Eminem, Florence & the Machine, Snoop Dogg and Mumford & Sons.