Jazz in Buenos Aires

7 Mar

On Friday night I headed out with Ludmilla Lima of the CartasArgentinas blog to check out a couple of jazz clubs in Palermo Viejo. Our first stop was at a place called Virasoro Bar, on Guatemala 4328. When we got there the show had already started and the small venue was packed, but we were led to a table where we already had a reservation up in the front.

With the small venue, seemingly hidden bar, and bluesy sort of jazz, I had the feeling that we weren’t in Buenos Aires, but rather in the Village in New York City. It could have been some cool underground jazz club near New York University for all I knew. The show cost $25 pesos and there was a minimum consumption of $12 pesos as well, which put it on the expensive side for me, but it was really enjoyable, mostly because it’s so different from what normally goes on here.

The normal place to go out that I’ve been exposed to is a bar or night club life, which can easily get old after a while. This jazz club was a breath of fresh air. After the show we stayed long enough until everyone left and another band was preparing to play, but then we walked around trying to find another place, eventually winding up at Thelonius Jazz Club, on Salguero 1884. To me it seemed like another hidden bar, but it was packed with patrons, and it seemed like at least half were European.

Oddly enough the bass player and drummer from the band we’d just seen were there. The drummer was playing again, but the bass player was sitting alone at the bar, and he gave me a nod as if he recognized me but couldn’t tell why. We wound up talking to the waiter, and it turned out it was his birthday. After the bar closed we were invited to stay after with the staff and talked for a while, and eventually they just gave us our drinks on the house.

So by the time we left it was pretty late and I was exhausted after a long week, but I was happy with a different kind of night out in Buenos Aires. It’s obvious that in such a big city you’ll find almost everything, but for a long time I hadn’t seen that part of it at all. And I think I’ll definitely hit it up again in the future.

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