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After Work Cocktail - Hotel Sheraton Grand Bar - All Souls Night - Celtic Folk - March 23, 2023

For me as an AAS member, the Bar at Sheraton Grand Hotel has, over the course of my 5 years of living in Salzburg, become something like a second living room. The dimmed light, the nicely arranged small coffee tables, the observant staff, the excellent beverages... I step into the Sheraton and immediately it feels like home.

Coming in for our After Work Cocktail on March 23, 2023 at 5:30 pm, the first person I see is Martin Langer standing at a bar table, welcoming the guests. He is here with the band "All Souls Night", tonight. They will be playing Celtic Folk for us. I greet him and check whether there are any other AAS members I know. Many known faces. Some new faces. Oh, and there is our President Dr. Maria Ganauser and some colleagues of the board. I greet everyone I know, shake hands, nod, smile, chat, check out or ask what drink they are having. I look around at the tables and see white wine with sparkling water-shots (if anyone knows what these are called in English please write it to me in the comment section!), coffee, beer in elegant glasses, someone is having a fruit juice... but as I am planning to write this blog right after the event, I decide to start with a cappuccino. The staff of the Sheraton usually also prepares 2 cocktails for the occasion. This time there is one with interesting ingredients based on gin and the other one based on vodka. Too sad I need to stay sober tonight! Maybe I should ask the staff about an alcohol-free cocktail one day? Or write the blog another day?  

I choose a seat on the right side of the stage next to a gentleman and a lady, am served my cappuccino and am immediately drawn out of my thoughts when the music starts. I find it amazing how live music can instantly pull us out of the many concerns going through our heads.

Band member, Bea de la Vega, has a wonderful, smooth voice. It's a delight to listen to her from the first note onwards. Together with Thekla Schirz, Magda Steiner and Martin Langer, the four of them lead us with their beautifully played Celtic Folk Music to Ireland. And as many Irish people emigrated to the US and Canada (as Bea tells us between the songs), they somehow also take us a little bit to North America. It is difficult for me to describe the music for I do not remember if and when I have heard Celtic Folk before. I find it inspiring to broaden my mind and learn about this new kind of music. The instruments are also unusual to me: mandolin, Irish bouzouki, tin whistle... very beautiful to listen to. But by far the most interesting instrument is: the shrutibox! I have never seen (or heard) anything like this...

I enjoy every song, listen to the explanations about the contents by Bea, let myself be drawn away into the times when those songs were played regularly (Bea tells us you can still hear some of these in pubs around Ireland today). When after about 45-50 minutes (Martin tells us this is only an appetizer, not a full concert!) of enjoying the music and, towards the end, even singing along with the band (they invited us to do it!), the set comes to an end, we manage, by our clapping hands, to make them play two extra songs.

Inspired by the live-music played and the good vibes after this appetizer concert ("All Souls Night" has other gigs to come! If you want to see a full concert you can check out the dates on, I change tables, plunge into conversations and enjoy another nice hour just chatting to everyone and having a good time.

Thank you very much to the Hotel Sheraton Grand for having us! Thank you very much to "All Souls Night" for entertaining us with your beautiful music! And thank you very much to all the members and friends who joined us for another one of our special AAS After Work Cocktail gatherings!

Looking forward to seeing you next time!


Text: Manuela Schnegg     Pictures: AAS Salzburg




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