In a neighbourhood bar on a cobbled square in Lisbon’s historic working-class Alfama district, an eclectic mix of punters pull up little wooden stools around a dozen intimately lit tables.
On the walls hang guitars and an old piano stands ready to accompany that evening’s music, be it fado, Cape Verde morna, Brazilian bossa nova or a delirious fusion of all of these and more.
Unassuming it may be in appearance but the Tejo Bar is a rich musical melting pot, each day infused with a different style and atmosphere depending on the musicians who pass by.
So instrumental has it become on the Lisbon music scene that US superstar Madonna counts among its fans, crediting the little bar in her adopted home city for setting the stage for her upcoming, new album.
“Inspiration for my new record all started here in Lisbon, at Tejo Bar,” the 60-year-old queen of pop said on Instagram, of her “Madame X” album, set for release on June 14.