In the beautiful seaside village of Salema, there is a venue which is bringing live music to all every Sunday night.
The venue is called the Blue Blues Note, which its owner Ramona Hartlieb describes as “quite simply a music living room created in the walls of a 100-year-old, traditional Portuguese cottage in the historic centre of Salema”.
The idea came to Ramona during the Covid-19 pandemic, when she decided to buy an old house in Salema and renovate it.
At the same time, Ramona – whose main business is in property management and sales (www.salemarentals.com) – started creating videos in which she showcased her paintings and artistic photographs along with songs she found on YouTube.
After contacting the artists behind the tracks she chose, Ramona started hosting online podcasts talking about music with these very artists, some of whom started showing an interest in visiting Salema and performing there.
This is how the idea was born to turn one of the rooms of the house into a delightful live music venue, where everyone is warmly welcomed.
The ‘music living room’ features blue velvet sofas, a piano from 1873 and many other interesting and much cherished instruments, and hosts talented musicians from all over the world along with local, home-grown talent.
There has been a live performance every Sunday at 5pm since April, no matter how many people are in attendance to see it.
There is no secret formula to the selection process of the artists who perform there, she explains.
“I’m all about real people and real musicians,” she says, adding that the key is feeling connected to their music.
Ramona, herself a very talented artist, has a mission which is to express and share her thoughts through music and art combining with her “love and lust for life”.
“This is what inspires me and makes my world go round,” she says. “I am 100% convinced that music, art and love have the power to change the world and that it is like a smile … the only language to reach hearts and souls.”
Salema Blue, a seaside music festival for all
The only drawback is that Blue Blues Note can only fit a few dozen people inside at a time. That is why Ramona decided last year to host a seaside music festival entitled ‘Salema Blue’.
The event was held this year for the first time and will take place in 2023 between June 9 and 11 near Salema beach, bringing a variety of national and international acts to the Western Algarve village. Artists will span a wide range of genres from Fado, Rock, Blues and Soul to Funk, Reggae and House.
Among the confirmed acts so far are Time for T, DJ TBY1, Naomi and the Raposeira Dub Collective, 5EX Band, Bratz Jehro & Band, Little Orange Blues, RamDam’s, Barry Johnson & Pierre Darmon with Bratz, Josephine Nightingale, David Dixon, A.Sofia Marques, Rafael Alves and Band, XhrisThomas, Jó Alice Braswell with local choirs and many more.
Daily tickets will cost €10 per person and there will also be a selection of food and drinks to enjoy (not included in ticket price).
Here are some thoughts and messages expressed by visitors who have played at and experienced this very special place:
- “A world within the worlds to find each other, to find ourselves …. Merci.” Iris Johner
- “Playing here is just pure magic and bliss, to have a personal and intimate time with everyone! Mona, thank you 1 of a kind!” Chris Thomas
- “We should be closer, instead we grow apart, – in bringing us together music holds the major part. Mon, you angel of the arts” Naomi Falcon / Raposeira Dub Collective
- “Dear Mona, thank you so much for having me in your magical space. Thank you for the air, creation and LOVE you spread in this world. I’ll forever remember this night.” Shaya Avitan
- “As time dissolves and paths grow, we fly with the flow. Thank you, Mona, for creating this special scene.” David (Dixon)
- “The most intimate concert in the world! Thank you for hosting us again.” Ale Rista
- “Coolest spot in Salema, all the love for what you do. Obrigada.” Sophie Fillion
- “That’s up for keeping live music alive” Tiago Saga / Time for T