SACC Austin event with
artists during SXSW a smashing success!
“The Swedish Invasion”
Copy and photo: Håkan
Thyr, SACC Texas
Austin is rightfully named “The Live
Music Capital of the World”. Every day of the year you can listen
to live music at many of the large and small music venues throughout
town. Two weeks every year it is no way you can avoid listening to
music if you are close to downtown: during the 3-day Austin
City Limits Music Festival in October when over
100 bands turn Zilker Park into a buzzing music scene with more than
65,000 visitors every day, and in March during the SXSW
(South by Southwest) music, film and interactive festival when 1400
performers play in more than 80 venues, and transform the entire
downtown into a 4-day around the clock music event.
Both events draws visitors from all
over the world, and brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the
Austin economy. Music is not only culture in Austin, it is big
“The British Invasion” crashed and
burned with Beatles in the mid-60's. “The Swedish Invasion” of
the American music life is still going strong 30 years after ABBA
established the bridge head in the mid-70's. This year 18 Swedish
bands performed at SXSW, an impressive number.
For the 3rd consecutive year
SACC Austin arranged a SXSW music party in cooperation with Export
Music Sweden. The event has grown year by year, and
this year more than 300 guests showed up to listen to an
unprecedented line-up of top-notch Swedish artists.
The party was hosted by Boundless
Network, and the founder of the company Henrik
Johansson (left), at their office in downtown Austin. Also in picture
Johan Vestermark Trainee SACC Texas and his fiancee Matilda Holmgren.
Anders Nilsson (former Vice President
of SACC Central Texas) and Anders Hjelmtorp (CEO of Export Music
Sweden) managed the artist line-up.
First out on
stage was Anton
Björkenvall. Anton comes from
Kiruna, a town above the Arctic Circle in Northern Sweden, and Anton
and the band had taken the opportunity to warm up in the sunny Austin
a week before the start of SXSW. After the music
festival they planned a old-fashioned
American road-trip to Louisiana.
Next was Jonna
Lee, a singer-songwriter with a
She had just been reunited with her guitar,
that had taken a trip to Amsterdam by its own and magically showed up
in time for the performance. Jonna was heading back to Sweden after
SXSW to work on her next album.
Sofia Talvik performed at
the SACC SXSW Music event in 2009, and she was back by popular demand
this year. Sofia made Austin and SXSW the final stop of a busy US
tour, starting off in Honolulu Hawaii, through Seattle, Los Angeles,
and San Diego. Sofia is known to be a hard working artist, and she
had a string of gigs lined up at SXSW, one together with Suzanne
changed the pace when they entered the staged and started off with
their combination of swing, jazz, and hip hop. The crowd was jumping
up and down.
Li topped off the
characterized her music style as “a
wild mix of circus-cabaré-balkan-music hall- gypsy pop”, and it
really struck a chord with the Austin audience. Miss Li was starting
her US tour in Austin, and was heading up to Washington D.C. (House
and New York.
Swedish Invasion” of the American music scene continues! SACC
Austin wants to thank all the artists, our sponsors, and our guests
for a wonderful party. We hope to see all y'all next year!
Geographical and Culinary
A Swedish Chef at the Hilton
By: Hannah Miller
Garden Inn in Allen receives guests from all over
the world, but so far the closest they’ve come to having Swedes stay the
were two Norwegians who recently stopped by. The Swedish chef, Jan Loov,
hoping this will change, especially considering the Hilton Garden Inn
became a member of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s always fun to
meet fellow Swedes and to know you’re not alone,” Loov says. “I
forward to having more Scandinavians come stay.” Loov is the executive
the Hilton Garden Inn and is always open to customer’s requests. Should
in the mood for some typical Swedish fare like meatballs or gravlax,
man. Loov’s philosophy is to cook honestly.
“If you order chicken, your food should taste like chicken,”
he says. “The simpler, the better.”
Executive Chef Jan Loov and General Manager Angela Barfield
He doesn’t specialize in any particular sort of cooking but really
likes to cook fish. “Anyone can cook a
piece of meat,” he says. “But it takes special skill to cook fish. And
it’s fresh, you can really tell the difference in quality and flavor.”
But there’s much more to Loov’s cooking than fish or even
Swedish food. He’s been a chef for twenty years and has worked in
Zealand, Australia, and Boston – he’s cooked everything from emu to
to Texas-favorite tilapia. He says he really enjoys working in Texas
people are open and friendly and not scared to try new things, including
different kinds of food. Cooking here is easier and more fun, he says,
he can be adventurous and try new ideas as much as he wants. Being a
chef in a
country the size of the US also means there are more ingredients readily
available and more people who are willing to try them.
“Here, the only thing that limits me is my imagination,”
says Loov. His latest endeavor at the hotel involves trying to reduce
carbon-footprint by preparing food in a more environmentally friendly
Going green may be a new trend in the United States, but Loov has always
environmentally conscious with his cooking, which not only helps the
environment but makes the food taste better. Part of that effort
buying vegetables that are locally grown to cut down on carbon emissions
cooking farm-raised fish from farms that don’t negatively affect the
Loov has been cooking up some special green meals in preparation for
but a visit to the Hilton Garden inn is
sure to bring a tasty experience every time. The Hilton Garden Inn
breakfast in the restaurant but specializes in customizing special
including catering and banquets, in the ballroom and meeting space.
Whether you’re flying in from Sweden or driving from Austin,
a visit to the Hilton
Garden Inn Allen and a bite of executive chef Jan Loov’s food
should enrich both your culinary and cultural experience.