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All of Jazz
For a taste of authentic Brazilian jazz, check out this intimate piano bar in Vila Olímpia, one of São Paulo’s nightlife neighbourhoods. Their philosophy – great music triumphs over all – hasn’t changed in 30 years, says Machado. Framed portraits of jazz musicians like Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker adorn the walls of the classy institution, which also serves casual tapas fare named after jazz giants. (We’ll leave the debate as to whether Billie Holiday is more toast with cream cheese and fresh herbs than Sarah Vaughan up to the purists.) The stage welcomes live acts daily, including our guide, who has graced the mic on a couple of occasions.

Jazz Nos Fundos
Housed in an abandoned warehouse at the edge of a dark parking lot in Pinheiros – nos fundos means “at the back” in Portuguese – this dimly lit, narrow speakeasy is decorated with found objects from the streets of São Paulo. (Think buckets and old sewing machines.) “The music here is always great, and the musicians are excellent,” says Machado, a regular patron of the underground bar, which showcases everything from passionate flamenco to groove, funk, fusion and free jazz. Check out their website for a funky yet instructive guide to all their shows, and don’t miss the small art gallery with monthly exhibits.

São Cristóvão
Soccer and jazz go hand in hand at this casual Brazilian restaurant, a bustling homage to the Rio de Janeiro team that bears its name. (More than 3,000 pieces of futebol memorabilia crowd the walls.) On Monday nights, listen to live Brazilian jazz while you sip one of over 100 varieties of cachaça (a liquor made from fermented sugar cane juice) at the bar. “Highly experienced musicians play here, some of the best in the country,” declares Machado, referencing famed pianist Luiz Mello. “You can eat well and drink well, and the ambience is top notch.”
Ó do Borogodó
While swaying to live Brazilian jazz or bossa nova at a seated show is certainly key to São Paulo’s nightlife experience, so are late nights of unbridled dancing. This is Brazil, after all. Machado suggests heading to this Vila Madalena spot, a “magnificent” underground joint where the music starts at midnight. But get there early, he advises: Once this tiny no-frills room hits capacity, you won’t be able to get in. (Remember, in São Paulo, “early” means 11 p.m.) With Brazilian musical styles encompassing samba, choro, baião and borró, popular bands like Grupo Cadeira de Balanço (Portuguese for rocking chair) keep the dance floor jumping until 6 a.m., although official closing time is 3 a.m. “People love it!” exclaims Machado. “It’s so simple and authentic; there aren’t even any chairs to sit down on.”

Sarajevo Club
Another São Paulo late-night essential is letting loose to Brazilian funk, and according to Machado, this Rua Augusta nightclub, with its crowd of hip paulistanos, is the place to do it. The action starts at about 1 a.m., and goes on until the wee hours of the morning. “People walk in the door to sing and dance all night!” says Machado. The club features three rooms and a mix of musical styles, from rock to blues, samba to jazz and, yes, the aforementioned funk.



Getting There

Air Canada offers daily non-stop service from Toronto to São Paulo, Brazil.

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