One of the first things that come to mind thinking of Brazil is Samba! Samba represents Brazilian culture and unites this huge country. One might think, Samba is only present on carnival, in the form of the big colorful parades. But no, it is part of everyday life. People meet for so-called “Choros” or “Chorinhos”, everybody can bring an instrument and join the circle of musicians. They play and sing while the rest is dancing or just enjoying the music. Music definitely represents a way to forget your sorrows and honor life. Choro itself does not necessarily mean that they play Samba, but in most cases, it ends up to be a “Roda de Samba”. As Samba is such an integral part of the Brazilian lifestyle, even in Florianópolis, a smaller city, you can find at least one great Samba each night of the week. Vamos! Let me guide you to one week of Samba in Floripa!
On Mondays you can find a small but atmospheric Samba, well actually more a Chorinho, in Santa Mônica. The Cervejaria Sambaqui is hidden behind the BR petrol station. Listening to the music you can enjoy tasty beers, as the brewery offers a wide range of artisanal beer. The handmade product combines quality and innovation and results in various types of beer with excellent taste.
Qualé Mané is a very simple traditional bar in the center of Florianópolis. The owner and compositor Neco established the Samba that takes place in Sambaqui on Sundays and coordinates the “Roda de Samba” on Tuesdays. His aim is to unite the best of Samba and various well-known “sambistas” from the area. In comparison to some other sambas, usually here is some space to dance and the atmosphere is very personal. It is really easy to chat with Neco and the other long-established regular guests. I would not describe it as a popular or trendy bar among young people, but for this very reason, it is worth to get to know this traditional samba.
Wednesday is Choro Xadrez day! Four guys open their private house in Rio Tavares to the public to make music. This place has so much character and an incomparable Brazilian vibe. If you imagine typical Brazil, that would be it! It absolutely could be a scene in a gringo-movie about this country. In the cozy tiny garden you can chat, have an artisanal beer or a homemade pizza, in the checkered tiled kitchen (that is where the name comes from: Xadrez means chess) the people are squeezing around the musicians.
On Thursdays, Geosamba at the UFSC, the public University in Florianópolis, takes place. Geosamba is a revolutionary Samba founded by students of Geology and Geography. They get together on the UFSC campus and play with so much heart and joy! This “Roda de Samba” is like the soul of the University and has a unique unconventional touch. As it is not associated with a bar, everybody brings its own drinks.
In the Quincas Bar happens a Samba on Fridays. Situated in a beautiful old blue white house, the traditional bar gets crowded around the “Roda de samba”. Mostly, the “Roda” only consists of four people, but sometimes “sambistas” from other states are coming, playing and spreading joy. The bar offers draft beer and various artisanal cachaças, as well as regional snacks and stays open until late.
On Saturdays another, way bigger Samba is happening in the Cervejaria Sambaqui in Santa Mônica. With great Samba singers, the event equals more a “bailinho” with everybody dancing. Whereas Mondays there offer a rather quiet and relaxed start in the week, Saturday is party time.
I can not resist but I have to recommend a couple of beautiful Sambas for Sunday night:
From 19-22 h, you can enjoy Samba in the recently opened bar O Araça. On Sundays, the core of the Choro-Xadrez-Crew delights the place with their amazing Samba. The vibe of this place is special, vibrant and lively. The people dance, chat or have a look at the small art exhibitions that give the place a special cultural note. O Araça is located in a beautiful antique blue house. As the interior design is all made of wood, the place is very cosy. It offers great food and a various draft beers.
On Sundays, one of the best sambas takes place in the Rancho do Neco in Sambaqui. Actually being a fisher hut, one night per week the cottage transforms into a beautiful, astonishing samba location, with a light scent of fish in the air, which only makes it more authentic. Situated at the beach, you are looking over the sea, seeing the lights of the continent shining on the horizon. The blue wooden hut is decorated with so much love and details, fisher nets with shells are just one example. The first time I went there I thought, Wow, this is Brazil and considered it the most Brazilian place on the island. Over time I discovered more places like this, but the place still fascinates me and remains special! The night starts with a “Roda de Samba” everybody can join, later it is a band playing Samba. They installed a small kitchen counter and offer drinks and “salgados”, little snacks. The place just makes you feel at home and fills you with positive energy.
Last but not least, the De Raiz in Joaquina opens the doors for Samba on Sundays as well. A band with a wonderful singer is playing Samba music and infecting the people with the Samba spirit. On the top of the dunes, the wooden construction of the De Raiz represents a really cool location and definitely the largest I am recommending here. That means: There is a lot of space to dance! In contrast to all the other Sambas, this one only starts around 23 hours and lasts until late. The perfect place to finish off this awesome week of Samba!