Multi-JUNO Award Nominees Canadian World Collective Sultans of String Send Special Birthday Wish to Neil Young by way of “Heart of Gold” 

Sultans of String Heart of Gold

TORONTO — November 12, 2019 — To celebrate Neil Young’s birthday, multi-award-winning and New York Times and Billboard Magazine charting Canadian world music collective Sultans of String could have gone with the classic well-wisher tune. 

Instead, the Internationally critically acclaimed five-piece have released their live rendition of Young’s 1972 classic, “Heart of Gold” — available now! 

Sultans of String are currently marking their 12th year with an extensive national tour and, additionally, the release of their forthcoming album — their seventh and most historic to date, Refuge (Spring 2020). 

While not on the album, the Neil Young cover lands on Neil Young’s birthday — today — as a fitting tribute to both the iconic artist, and the song’s full-circle meaning for Sultans of String co-founder Chris McKhool, in particular. 

“‘Heart of Gold’ has a lot of meaning to me personally,” McKhool shares of the track. “For context, I grew up in a ‘classical music-loving’ house; my mother was a piano teacher and all the kids from the neighbourhood would come to our living room for lessons. My first instrument was a classical violin which was amazing for ear training. I was even in a string orchestra called the National Capital String Academy, and I loved it. 

“But by the time I was a teenager, violin was kind of a ‘square’ instrument,” he continues. “When I got to high school, I had learned enough about music already that I could teach myself how to play guitar. I bought my first steel string guitar from Steve’s Music in my hometown of Ottawa — a plywood model by Yamaha! 

“Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold’ was the very first song I learned on it.” 

At the time McKhool worked as a short-order cook at a place on Holland Avenue — TJ’s Speakeasy Café. “It had a great open stage night,” he recalls. “I saw some amazing Ottawa folk performers there. 

“One night during my shift at TJ’s, I came out from the back and played ‘Heart of Gold.’ I didn’t have enough money for a guitar strap so I was just kind of clutching the guitar under my arm as I strummed away. I was so nervous in my first public singing/playing appearance that my arms were trembling a little bit, and halfway through the song I literally dropped the guitar. The crowd went wild with applause!  

“So, I decided that was a good place to leave it. They all knew and loved me at TJ’s — it was a very supportive place. But I slinked away back to the kitchen and practiced a lot more before I tried that again.

“Now I play violin in this band, but I still own that old Yamaha guitar and love singing this song!  I hope Neil gets a chance to hear this — a birthday present from me and Sultans of String!”

Sultans of String are McKhool (has collaborated with Richard Bona, Béla Fleck), Kevin Laliberté (Jesse Cook), Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), Eddie Paton, and Rosendo Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba). Together, their musical synergy strikes inimitable, explaining their three JUNO Award nominations, four Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus many more, as well as International touring at notable venues (including JUNOFest, Glasgow’s Celtic Connections, NYC’s Birdland, and selling out Koerner Hall several times over), and appearances on BBC, CBC, Irish National Radio, NPR, SiriusXM, and then some.

Set for Spring 2020, Refuge is Sultans of String’s seventh and most historic album, and features talent that arrived to Canada and the U.S. as immigrants and refugees — many of whom are GRAMMY and JUNO Award winners as well. 

“Heart of Gold” is available now. https://orcd.co/heartofgoldlive

// ABOUT SULTANS OF STRING 

Since releasing their debut album Luna in 2007, Sultans of String have continually strived to make each chart-topping album more original and meaningful than the last. That includes working with an orchestra (2013’s Symphony), teaming with Pakistani sitarist Anwar Khurshid (2015’s Subcontinental Drift) and even crafting a world-music holiday album (2017’s Christmas Caravan), which landed them on the Billboard charts and the New York Times. Their ambition and work ethic have garnered them multiple awards and accolades, including three JUNO Award nominations, first place in the International Songwriting Competition (out of 15,000 entries), three Canadian Folk Music Awards, and countless other honours. 

Their live resumé is similarly stellar. Equally at home in a concert hall, jazz club or festival setting, the Sultans have gigged at the legendary club Birdland in New York, the renowned Celtic Connections Festival in the U.K. and the San Jose Jazz Festival. They have performed with symphonies across Canada and the U.S., and played live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, World Cafe and SiriusXM in Washington.  

// TOUR:

November 23 @ Fergus Grand Theatre, Fergus ON
November 28 @ Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell November 29 @ Fish Creek Concerts, Calgary AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell November 30 @ Festival Place, Sherwood Park AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell December 1 @ Beneath the Arch Concerts, Turner Valley AB
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell December 5 @ Wolf Performance Hall, London ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guest Rebecca Campbell & Lynn Miles December 6 @ Live Wire Music, Kingston ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell & Lynn Miles December 8 @ Concert Hall at Victoria Hall, Coburg ON
Christmas Caravan December 12 @ Empire Theatre, Belleville ON
December 13 @ Sanderson Centre, Brantford ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Donné Roberts & Ken Whiteley December 14 @ Oakville Performing Arts Centre
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts & Ken Whiteley
December 15 @ Kingston Road Village Concert Series
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts & Tamar Ilana December 19 @ Shenkman Arts Centre, Ottawa ON
Christmas Caravan w/ Guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Kellylee Evans & Kristine St-Pierre

// CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees– Producer of the Year 
  • 2018 Music featured in the acclaimed film, “Hotel Mumbai” 
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — # 6 
  • 2017 JUNO nominees – World Music Album of the Year 
  • 2017 New York Times Hits List 
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — # 15 
  • 2016 Canada’s High Commission in London UK presents SOS at Trafalgar Square
  • 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
  • 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats  
  • 2016 ISC – Honorable Mention
  • 2015 JUNO nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year     
  • 2015 TIMA winners – Best World Album
  • 2014 SiriusXM Independent Music Awards Winner- World Group of the Year   
  • 2014 IMA Independent Music Award Winner – Instrumental 
  • 2013 ISC  International Songwriting Competition Winner- Instrumental 
  • 2013 Festivals & Events- Performer of The Year  
  • 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
  • 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
  • 2012 Festivals & Events- Entertainer of The Year  
  • 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental 
  • 2011 Independent Music Award 2x Finalist – Instrumental & World Beat Album 
  • 2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition 2x Finalist-  Instrumental & World Music 
  • 2010 JUNO Award Nominees –  “Instrumental Album of the Year” 
  • 2010 Canadian Independent Music Awards nominees- Favorite World Group 
  • 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place – Instrumental 
  • 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominee winning Instrumental Group of the Year also nominated for Ensemble of the Year and Pushing the Boundaries)
  • 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental 
  • 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario- Best Variety Act

For more information, please contact:

Eric Alper
Publicist  I  Music Commentator  I  Shameless Idealist
647-971-3742

www.ThatEricAlper.com
Eric@ThatEricAlper.com
www.Twitter.com/ThatEricAlper
www.Facebook.com/EricAlperPR
www.Instagram.com/ThatEricAlper

 

3X JUNO NOMINEES/3X CFMA WINNERS SULTANS OF STRING’S new single The Power of the Land out TODAY!

SOS_POWER_OF_THE_LAND_COVER_3000x3000_300DPI

3X JUNO NOMINEES/3X CFMA WINNERS SULTANS OF STRING’S new single
The Power of the Land out on October 25, 2019, ON MCKHOOL/CEN/THE ORCHARD,
A DIVISION OF SONY MUSIC

Sultans of String – The Power of the Land
Available now here: https://smarturl.it/PoweroftheLand
Artist:  Sultans of String
Song: The Power of the Land (feat. Duke Redbird & Twin Flames)
Upcoming Album: Refuge

“Energetic and exciting music fest from a band with talent to burn… the very epitome of world music: no boundaries, no rules!” – Maverick Music Magazine

NY Times and BILLBOARD charting band Sultans of String are releasing their new single on October 25, 2019. Entitled The Power of the Land, it features Ojibway Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and Indigenous artists Twin Flames.

Sultans of String are 3x JUNO Award nominees (Canada’s Grammys) and 4x Canadian Folk Music Award winners. They recently celebrated their 10th anniversary as a band, criss-crossing North America and UK, and performing at many taste-making forums such as JUNOFest, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Birdland in NYC, and California’s hip music scene, including the San Jose Jazz Festival. They have sold out Koerner Hall three times (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall) and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton Symphony Orchestras. Sultans of String were recently recorded live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, and internationally syndicated shows including SiriusXM in Washington DC.  At the core of the band’s sound is Chris McKhool’s (Jesse Cook, Pavlo) bold and fiery fiddle, melded seamlessly with founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s (Jesse Cook) rumba rhythm- together their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. Added to this rich foundation are bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), guitar wizard Eddie Paton, and Cuban percussion master Rosendo Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba).

This collaborative single The Power of the Land, with lyrics by Duke Redbird and music by Sultans of String band, will be part of a larger upcoming album entitled REFUGE to be released in 2020, featuring incredible talents from the USA/Canada, many of whom arrived as recent immigrants and refugees. We feel it is important to highlight the extraordinary contributions of those that have arrived here from around the globe, as well as global talents that have been ambassadors for peace. Each one of us has a remarkable story to tell, and we are excited to share the beauty of these collaborations with you, featuring special guests from First Nations, Turkey, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Greece, Syria, Mexico, Portugal, Cuba, and Sudan.

Refuge’s potent and poetic single The Power of the Land features the interwoven vocals of Indigenous spoken-word artist Duke Redbird and married Ottawa folk duo Twin Flames. “I actually heard Duke recite that poem years ago,” McKhool says. “I was so moved that I introduced myself to him after the performance and said, ‘Have you ever thought about putting this to music?'” Fast-forward three years, to the day when McKhool realized he had finally written the right backdrop for Redbird’s stirring words. “It was just one of those beautiful moments where I realized those lyrics might work perfectly.”

This single is co-produced by the multiple award-winning team of bandleader Chris McKhool and John “Beetle” Bailey.  The beds were recorded on First Nations land at the Indigenous-owned Jukasa Studios. Founded by Ohsweken’s, Kenneth Hill & Jerry Montour, Jukasa Studios is a multi-million dollar studio created for world-class and developing artists to make music in surroundings rich in spirit and tradition. The legendary 8072 G Series Vintage Analog Console which spent 12 years of its life in studio 3 at Abbey Road Studios in London England, was purchased and moved to Jukasa Studios in 2009.  Overdubs and mixing were done at The Drive Shed with John “Beetle” Bailey and mastering by Harry Hess at HBomb Mastering.

“It seems that Sultans of String can’t get out of bed at the moment without finding themselves nominated for one award or another. In a word: Magnificent!”
– Rock n Reel – UK Music Magazine 5* review

TEAM:  We are working with an amazing team to promote this single/tour

US Agent: Kevin Peters, GL Berg
US Management: Dave Wilkes
US Radio: Max Horowitz, Crossover Media
CDN PR: That Eric Alper
CDN Management/Booking: LW Communications
Social Media: Scully Love Promo

BAND: Sultans of String
Chris McKhool – LEBANON / CAN
Kevin Laliberte – CAN
Eddie Paton – CAN
Drew Birston – CAN
Rosendo Chendy Leon – CUBA / CAN

Extraordinary special guests on REFUGE include Grammy and JUNO Award winners:
Béla Fleck – USA
Edmar Castaneda – COLOMBIA / USA
Ifrah Mansour – SOMALIA / USA
Imad Al Taha – IRAQ / USA
Yasmin Levy – ISRAEL
Gundem Yayli Grubu – TURKEY

Ahmed Moneka  – IRAQ / CAN
Amir Amiri – IRAN / CAN
Anh Phung – VIETNAM / CAN
Anwar Khurshid – PAKISTAN / CAN
Donné Roberts – MADAGASCAR / CAN
Demetrios Petsalakis – GREECE / CAN
Duke Redbird – OJIBWE ELDER / CAN
Fethi Nadjem – ALGERIA / CAN
Majd Sukar – SYRIA / CAN
Marito Marques – PORTUGAL / CAN
Matias Recharte – PERU / CAN
Michel DeQuevedo – MEXICO / CAN
Nagmeh Faramand – IRAN / CAN
Ravi Naimpally – INDIA / CAN
Robi Botos – HUNGARY / CAN
Rosendo Chendy Leon – CUBA / CAN
Sammy Figueroa – PUERTO RICO / USA
Selcuk Suna –  TURKEY / CAN
Twin Flames – INDIGENOUS / CAN
Waleed Abdulhamid – SUDAN / CAN

LINKS:

YOUTUBE EPK https://youtu.be/fnog2CowXqQ

INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN https://igg.me/at/sultans

http://www.sultansofstring.com
http://twitter.com/sultansofstring
https://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
http://www.instagram.com/sultansofstring

DISTRIBUTORS:
Canada – Fontana North
USA – C.E.N. (SONY/Red)
UK/EUROPE – Proper Distribution

UPCOMING TOURING PLANS:

01 Nov 2019 – Warren, PA (US) – Struthers Library Theatre
02 Nov 2019 – Stroudsburg, PA (US) – Chester Concerts
04 Nov 2019 – Durham, NC (US) – ArtsMarket Official Showcase / Showcase A6
08 Nov 2019 – Toronto, ON (CA) – OMEA Showcase / Quartet
23 Nov 2019 – Fergus, ON (CA) – Fergus Grand Theatre
28 Nov 2019 – Banff, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Banff Centre for the Arts / with special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
29 Nov 2019 – Calgary, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Fish Creek Concerts / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
30 Nov 2019 – Sherwood Park, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Festival Place / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
01 Dec 2019 – Turner Valley, AB (CA) Christmas Caravan – Beneath The Arch Concerts / w/ special guest Rebecca Campbell
05 Dec 2019 – London, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Wolf Performance Hall / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
06 Dec 2019 – Kingston, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Live Wire Music / Double bill– 1st show w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell & Lynn Miles; 2nd show featuring Lynn Miles
07 Dec 2019 – Oswego, NY (US) Christmas Caravan – Oswego Music Hall / w/ special guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell
08 Dec 2019 – Cobourg, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Concert Hall at Victoria Hall / pres. by Les AMIS Concerts & The Loft
13 Dec 2019 – Brantford, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Sanderson Centre / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Donné Roberts, Ken Whiteley
14 Dec 2019 – Oakville, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Oakville Performing Arts Centre / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts, Ken Whiteley
15 Dec 2019 – Toronto,  (CA) Christmas Caravan – Kingston Road Village Concert Series / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Donné Roberts, Tamar Ilana
19 Dec 2019 – Ottawa, ON (CA) Christmas Caravan – Shenkman Arts Centre / w/ special guests Rebecca Campbell, Lynn Miles, Kellylee Evans, Kristine St-Pierre
20 Dec 2019 – Nelson, NY (US) Christmas Caravan – Nelson Odeon / w/ guest Campbell, at Catherine Cummings Theatre
21 Dec 2019 – Saratoga Springs, NY (US) Christmas Caravan – Caffe Lena – by invitation only – become a Caffe Lena member today!
08 Feb 2020 – Mississauga, ON (CA) Symphony show – Living Arts Centre / w/ Mississauga Symphony Orchestra
07 Mar 2020 – Cobalt, ON (CA) – Classic Theatre / Quartet
19 Mar 2020 – Ely, MN (US) – Mesaba Concert Assn @ Washington Auditorium /
20 Mar 2020 – Thief River Falls, MN (US) – Thief River Falls Concerts / – Lincoln H.S. Auditorium
22 Mar 2020 – Redwood Falls, MN (US) – Estebo Performing Arts Center /
24 Mar 2020 – Dixon, IL (US) – Historic Dixon Theater /
27 Mar 2020 Concordia, KS (US) – Brown Grand Theatre /
28 Mar 2020 – Pratt, KS (US) – Pratt Community Concerts @ Carpenter Auditorium /
29 Mar 2020 – Lamar, CO (US) – SouthWest Colorado Concerts / Trio – Lamar High School Auditorium
30 Mar 2020 – Columbus, NE (US) – Nantkes Performing Arts Center /
31 Mar 2020 – Rapid City, SD (US) – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center /
02 Apr 2020 – Anaconda, MT (US) – Washoe Theatre /
21 Apr 2020 – Burlington, IA (US) – Burlington Memorial Auditorium / Quartet
02 May 2020 – Gravenhurst, ON (CA) – Gravenhurst Opera House / Quartet

RECENT AWARDS:

  • 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards– Producer of the Year nomination for McKhool
  • 2017 New York Times Hits List
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts – Christmas Caravan CD hits #6
  • 2017 Canadian Nielsen World Music Charts – Christmas Caravan CD hits #3
  • 2017 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award for “Sing For Kwanzaa” from Christmas Caravan
  • 2017 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award for “Road to Kfarmishki”
  • 2017 ISC International Songwriting Competition- World category – “Sing For Kwanzaa”
  • 2017 JUNO Award Nominees for “World Music Album of the Year” – Subcontinental Drift
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts – Subcontinental Drift CD hits #15
  • 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards– World Music Group of the Year
  • 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats
  • 2015 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) – Subcontinental Drift
  • 2015 JUNO Award Nominees for “Instrumental Album of the Year” – Symphony!
  • 2015 Toronto Independent Music Award – World Music
  • 2014 SIRIUSXM Independent Music Awards Winner- World Group of the Year
  • 2014 IMA Independent Music Award Winner – Instrumental Song – “Josie”
  • 2014 IMA Independent Music Vox Pop Award – Music Producer – Symphony! -Chris McKhool
  • 2013 ISC International Songwriting Competition- Instrumental category – “Monti’s Revenge”
  • 2013 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award for “Monti’s Revenge”
  • 2013 Festivals & Events- Performer of The Year
  • 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
  • 2013 SiriusXM Canadian Indie Awards Nominee for World Group of the Year
  • 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
  • 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Instrumental Group & Pushing the Boundaries
  • 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee- Producer of the Year for Chris McKhool
  • 2012 Folk Music Ontario- Songs From the Heart Winner
  • 2012 Festivals & Events- Entertainer of The Year
  • 2011 Ontario Contact – Artist of the Year
  • 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental
  • 2011 Independent Music Award 2x Finalist – Instrumental Album & World Beat Album – Yalla Yalla!
  • 2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition 2x Finalist- Instrumental & World Music categories
  • 2010 JUNO Award Nominees for “Instrumental Album of the Year” – Yalla Yalla!
  • 2010 Canadian Independent Music Awards nominees- Favourite World Artist/Group
  • 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place Winners – Instrumental
  • 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominee winning Instrumental Group of the Year (also nominated for Ensemble of the Year and Pushing the Boundaries)
  • 2009 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Award 2x Winner- Best Toronto World CD & Artist of the Year
  • 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental
  • 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario- Best Variety Act
  • 2008 Canadian Independent Music Awards Finalists- Favourite World Music Band
  • 2008 International Independent Music Awards Finalists- Best World Fusion Song
  • 2007 Musique du Monde Award
  • 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award nominees – Best Instrumentalist Group
  • 2007 Ontario Independent Music Award winner- Best Song & Best Instrumental
  • 2007 Toronto Independent Music Award nominees – World Music Category

This recording was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council. We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, and Canada Council for the Arts.

 

 

3X JUNO Award Nominees SULTANS OF STRING release their 10th Anniversary Vinyl Retrospective, entitled 10

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2017

3X JUNO Award Nominees SULTANS OF STRING release their 10th Anniversary Vinyl Retrospective, entitled 10

Ten Years of Music by Sultans of String

[Toronto ON]  For the past 10 years, 2017 JUNO Award nominees and triple CFMA winners Sultans of String have thrilled audiences with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Gypsy-jazz, Cuban rhythms, South Asian and East Coast Celtic music, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity.

They are celebrating this decade of music making with a limited edition vinyl-only release, 10, featuring re-mastered cuts from their 5 CD catalogue,, as well as an unreleased track from their upcoming Christmas Caravan album.

Artist: Sultans of String
Title: 10
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Barcode/UPC: 823674059415
Cat. #:  MCK 2070

Pre-order available now: https://merchmrkt.com/music/10/

“We all grew up listening to vinyl, everything from Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd, to the great folk singers”, says bandleader/producer/violinist Chris McKhool. “I took a break for a number of years when CDs were all the rage, but came back to records a few years ago when exposing my daughter to cool music. There is something so special about the ritual of listening to vinyl– the sound, the smell, the feel of it.  Time and space are put on hold, and I lose myself. After making and performing on countless CDs, we can now cross off making a vinyl album from our bucket list!”

Folk Radio UK recently described their music as “an enthralling, adventurous celebration of the power music has to transcend geographical and cultural boundaries, and Sultans of String wield that power with grace, eloquence, and spirit.”  Indeed 10, is more than a global sonic tapestry. It is a musical promise that embraces differences while finding common ground across culture, land, and time.  While the album treks across all kinds of musical terrain, the fertile soil beneath each track is fed by hope unhindered and freedom found.

At the core of the band’s sound is Queen’s Diamond Jubilee recipient Chris McKhool’s fiery fiddle, melded seamlessly with founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s (Jesse Cook) rumba rhythm — together their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. Added to this rich foundation are core band members bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), guitar wizard Eddie Paton (ReDuX:RMx), and Cuban percussion master Rosendo Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba). This album features special guest performances by Anwar Khurshid on sitar (Life of Pi, Love Guru), Andrew Collins on Mandolin (Foggy Hogtown Boys), Bassam Bishara on Oud, Ernie Tollar on Bansuri, The Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney on tin whistle, and a Turkish String Collective from Istanbul.

Sultans of String are celebrating their 10th anniversary crisscrossing North America and the UK. They have recently performed at many taste-making forums such as JUNOFest, legendary jazz club Birdland in NYC, and California’s hip music scene, including the San Jose Jazz Festival. They recently sold out Koerner Hall (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall) and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Maryland’s Annapolis Symphony Orchestras. Sultans of String have performed live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, and the internationally syndicated shows WoodSongs, World Cafe, and on SiriusXM in Washington DC.

SIDE ONE

  1. Auyuittuq Sunrise (2:21) – From Yalla Yalla!
  2. Stomping at the Rex (3:23) – From Yalla Yalla! – Feat. Andrew Collins – mandolin
  3. El Kahira (3:32) – From Luna – Feat. Bassam Bishara – oud, Ernie Tollar – bansuri
  4. Luna (5:08) – From Symphony!
  5. Sable Island (4:45) – From Symphony! – Feat. Paddy Moloney tin whistle/Uilleann pipes

SIDE TWO

  1. Blowin’ In the Wind (3:42) – From Subcontinental Drift – Feat. Anwar Khurshid –   sitar
  2. Enter the Gate (3:30) – From Subcontinental Drift – Feat. Anwar Khurshid – sitar
  3. Road to Kfarmishki (3:30) – From Subcontinental Drift – Feat. Anwar Khurshid – sitar
  4. Josie (3:17) – From Move
  5. Turkish Greensleeves (4:29) – From Christmas Caravan – Feat. Turkish String Collective

Included inside is an 8.5×11” full colour poster autographed by the band.

“Chris McKhool and the boys are fantastic.” ~ Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel)

 “Sultans of String are so extraordinary and put on a sensational show—one of my favorite bands on the planet!” ~ Todd Barkan, Lincoln Center, NY

 “You get the feeling this is Willie & Lobo or Gypsy Kings taken to the next level of the game, sometimes all at once… a sure bet to notch a JUNO and any other award winning hardware to come its way.” ~ Midwest Record, Chicago

“Sultans of String are one of Canada’s hottest new musical exports, dynamically embodying their homeland’s values of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures.” ~ International Celtic Connections Festival, UK

RECENT AWARDS / HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 2017 JUNO Award Nominees – World Music
  • 2017 American Billboard World Music Charts – #15
  • 2016 Canada’s High Commission presents SOS at UK’s Trafalgar Square
  • 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards– World Music
  • 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats
  • 2015 International Songwriting Competition (ISC)
  • 2015 JUNO Award Nominees for – Instrumental
  • 2015 Toronto Independent Music Award – World Music
  • 2010 JUNO Award Nominees – Instrumental


http://www.sultansofstring.com

http://twitter.com/sultansofstring
https://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
https://www.instagram.com/sultansofstring

Media Inquiries and Interviews:

Lisa Weitz @ LW Communications 416-624-3466
or call bandleader Chris McKhool directly at 416-567-7110 (cell)

From Ragas to Riches…Canada’s SULTANS OF STRING release Subcontinental Drift with Sitar Master ANWAR KHURSHID

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2015

Sultans of String Autorickshaw

A Sweeping East Meets Middle-East meets West Collaboration

2015 JUNO Award Nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year
2014 SiriusXM Independent Music Awards Winner – World Group of the Year
2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners – World Music Group of the Year
____________________________________________________________________

[Toronto, Canada]  2015 JUNO Award Nominees and 2014 SiriusXM Award Winners Sultans of String, are serving up a smorgasbord of ragas, reels and rumbas on their new, special collaborative release, Subcontinental Drift, with sitar master Anwar Khurshid (Oscar winning Life of Pi, Love Guru).The album officially drops September 25th, 2015 on Fontana North.

While Sultans of String are known for spotlighting treasured special guests from around the world, this is their first wholly collaborative offering where the entire body of work was created together.

“There is something really magical about joining world music rhythms that we often play, but with pop sensibilities and forms and lengths, and blending that with the music of the East”, says bandleader/fiddler Chris McKhool.

Yet, Subcontinental Drift is more than a global sound-tapestry. It is a musical promise that embraces differences while finding common ground across culture, land, and time.

Indeed, while the album treks across all kinds of musical terrain, the fertile soil beneath each track is fed by hope unhindered and freedom found. “One of the songs we wrote together, Journey to Freedom, actually traces Anwar’s journey from Pakistan to Canada and finding his new home here. “He’s become a great musical and personal friend.says McKhool, whose name would have been spelled Makhoul in Kfarmishki, Lebanon, where his ancestors are from. ” Together we started writing songs about the freedom and equality we experience living here in Canada, about finding ourselves, and our hope of creating a better world. And I feel in some way, like these songs reflect our own personal journeys towards finding a world peace.”

Perhaps one song above all on the album highlights the universality of music. “Anwar and I discovered that we knew a tune in common with different names. There’s an ancient Irish fiddle tune called “Rakes of Mallow“. It also made its way to England and when the English were ruling India, I guess the English and the local Indian musicians were playing and learning from each other musically. I knew it on the fiddle and Anwar knew it slightly differently on the sitar. In India they have been calling it “Band Sargham” and our two interpretations of the tune totally matched and locked in together”.

“There are a lot of musicians out there but it’s a rare thing to find another musician where there’s a communication that’s above words…one of us can start playing something and the other two get it”, says Sultans co-founder and guitarist non-pareil, Kevin Laliberté.

Adds Khurshid, “there is this musical connection between us, but what I noticed the first time I came here and I played with you guys, was this wonderful humanity and generosity… such a nice welcome that you had for me. It was really soul-enhancing.”

The band will be touring non-stop in 2015 and 2016 in support of Subcontinental Drift (full schedule below).

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“Chris McKhool and the boys are fantastic!” ~ Bob Ezrin (Producer–Pink Floyd. Kiss)

“The blending expands the potential reach of the group…while offering a wonderful experience for this travelling band of merry music-making men to cross their music with yet another genre.” ~ Toronto Star

“This Canadian quintet performs an international mix of styles, from Spanish flamenco to Gypsy jazz to Latin rumba, combining ace musicianship and craft with an infectious enthusiasm for humanity’s shared heritage.” ~ Philly Metro

“Sultans of String are one of Canada’s hottest new musical exports, dynamically embodying their homeland’s values of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures. … they weave a gorgeously-hued tapestry of Folk, Spanish, Arabic, Latin, French and gypsy strands.” ~ International Celtic Connections Festival, UK
“If there’s a string, chances are these guys can tear it up!” ~ Vue Weekly

“Since they started out working as an instrumental duo, violinist Chris McKhool and guitarist Kevin Laliberte have kept adding players and guests, even occasional singers. But whether it’s four or 40, the band taps an irrepressible enthusiasm.” ~ Calgary Herald

“A new fusion of roots and classical…the results are mind blowing.  Even though the instrumentation is different, you get the feeling this is Strunz & Farah or Willie & Lobo or Gypsy Kings taken to the next level of the game, sometimes all at once… any fan of world beat or contemporary instrumental music is sure to absolutely flip for this gem.  Hot stuff throughout and a sure bet to notch a Juno and any other award winning hardware to come its way.” ~ Midwest Record, Chicago

“What this band does is not only good fun, it’s stocked wall-to-wall with irresistible international musics – gypsy jazz classics, flamenco music, Inuit melody, ukulele raveups, visiting musicians from the Chieftains…Lebanese music, you name it. If it’s got strings and fingerboards, count them in. What they never forget to provide, though, is enough melodic charm to beguile almost anyone.” ~  Buffalo News


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

• 2015 JUNO nominees – Instrumental Album of the Year
• 2014 SiriusXM Independent Music Awards Winner – World Group of the Year
• 2014 IMA Independent Music Award Winner – Instrumental
• 2013 ISC  International Songwriting Competition Winner – Instrumental
• 2013 Festivals & Events – Performer of The Year
• 2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for bandleader Chris McKhool
• 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners – World Music Group of the Year
• 2012 Festivals & Events – Entertainer of The Year
• 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental
• 2011 Independent Music Award 2x Finalist – Instrumental Album & World Beat Album
• 2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition 2x Finalist-  Instrumental & World Music
• 2010 JUNO Award Nominees – “Instrumental Album of the Year”
• 2010 Canadian Independent Music Awards nominees – Favorite World Artist/Group
• 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place Winners – Instrumental
• 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award triple nominee winning Instrumental Group of the Year
(also nominated for Ensemble of the Year and Pushing the Boundaries)
• 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental
• 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario – Best Variety Act

http://www.sultansofstring.com
https://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
http://twitter.com/sultansofstring

Subcontinental Drift by Sultans of String with Anwar Khurshid


TOUR SCHEDULE

Aug 5 — 10pm Live on KPFA Radio, California
Aug 6 — 8:00pm, Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, California
Aug 7 — morning show, live on KMAX TV, West Sacramento, California
Aug 7 — 7:30pm,  Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, Auburn, California
Aug 8 — 8:00pm, Sutter Creek Theatre, Sutter Creek, California
Aug 9  — noon, San Jose Jazz Festival, San Jose, California
August 28 — 7:30pm, St Paul’s United Church, Midland ON, with special guest sitar master Anwar Khurshid
August 29 — 7:30pm, Meaford ON, Meaford Hall Arts and Culture Centre, 877-538-0463 with special guest sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Sept 11 — Showcasing at Arts Midwest conference, Kansas City, Missouri
Sept 12 — 7:30pm, Opera House at Boothbay Harbour, Maine
Sept 13 — The Grand, Ellsworth, Maine
Sept 19 – 5:00pm Brantford Jazz Festival, Brantford ON
Sept 19 — 8:00pm The Registry Theatre, Kitchener ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Sept 26 — Branches and Roots Festival, Ormstown QC
Oct 1 — Nineteen on the Park, Lebovic Centre, Stouffville ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Oct 2 — 8:00pm, Capitol Theatre, Port Hope ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Oct 15 — 8:00pm, Agora des Arts, Rouyn-Noranda QC
Oct 17 — 7:30pm, North Bay Symphony, North Bay, ON
Oct 23-24-25 — Showcasing at Alberta Contact, Shell Theatre, Dow Centennial Centre, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Oct 27 — Education shows w Anwar Khurshid for students, Flato Markham Theatre, Markham ON
Oct 28 — Education shows w Anwar Khurshid for students, Flato Markham Theatre, Markham ON
Oct 30 — 8:00pm, Trinity St Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, CD release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 7 — 8:00pm, Aeolian Hall, London, ON, CD release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 13 — 8:00pm, Meadowvale Theatre, Mississauga ON, CD release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 14-15 — Official Showcase at NERFA North American Folk Alliance Conference, Kerhonkson NY w/ sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Nov 19 — 8:00pm, Ironwood, Calgary, AB
Nov 20 — Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Centre, Camrose, AB
Nov 21 — 7:30pm Shell Theatre, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Nov 22 — 2:00pm, Shell Theatre young audience show, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Nov 22 — 7:30pm, Maclab Centre, Leduc AB
Dec 12 — Christmas Fiesta! Symphony concert w/ Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, PC HO Theatre, Toronto ON

2016

Jan 24 — 7:30pm, Performing Arts Lakefield, Lakefield, ON
Feb 5 —  Nelson Odeon, CD Release,, Nelson NY, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Feb 6 — Oswego Music Hall, CD Release, Oswego NY, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
Feb 28 — Claude Parlour Music, CD Release, Caledon ON featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
April 1 — Pawling Concert Series, Pawling NY
April 8 — 10:00 AM Student show, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington ON
April 8 — 8:00 PM Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington ON
April 23 — with Sault Ste. Marie Symphony, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
April 24 — with Sault Ste. Marie Symphony, Elliot Lake, ON
April 29, Largo Cultural Center, Florida
April 30 —  (7:30pm & 9:30pm) , South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, Cutler Bay, Florida
May 1 — Cafe Moka, Tavernier, Florida
May 13 — NAC National Arts Centre, Fourth Stage, CD Release featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid
August 6 — Barrie Rhythmfest, Barrie ON
August 7 — Music at Fieldcote, Ancaster ON, featuring sitar master Anwar Khurshid

 

Agency Logos

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Interviews, Photos, CD/Videos
Lisa Weitz,  LW Communications  lw@lwcommunications.ca  416-624-3466 | 416-846-6877 (cell)

 

Sultans of String Special DUO Concert & Video Taping at Hugh’s Room on June 28th

Chris McKhool & Kevin Laliberte of Sultans of String

Hi all!  After ten years of Chris McKhool playing with his good buddy Kevin Laliberté in various band configurations, they are finally doing what they have dreamed of for years, a DUO concert at their favourite club in Toronto!

This concert will be videotaped to make YouTube videos of Sultans of String’s duo show.

The band thought this would also be a great opportunity to support an arts charity that is very close to their hearts, ArtsCan Circle, and a portion of the proceeds from this concert are going to ArtsCan Circle (pls see full ArtsCan Circle info/mission statement below).

You will be a BIG part of the fun… Come and bring your friends and enthusiasm!

Check out the Press Release below, and look forward to seeing you there!

SULTANS OF STRING
Special DUO concert and YouTube Video Taping

June 28, 2015, 8:30 PM 

Hugh’s Room
2261 Dundas St. W.
Toronto, ON  M6R 1X6

$10 advance / $12 door

For dinner reservations or tickets please call the club during regular business hours @ 416-531-6604 or email info@hughsroom.com or online HERE.

The Songwriting, The Sounds, The Magic

Chris McKhool (violin) and Kevin Laliberté (guitar), the songwriters behind 2015 JUNO Award Nominees and 2x Canadian Folk Music Award winning band, SULTANS OF STRING, take you on a musical journey around the world!

McKhool met Laliberté just as the guitarist was coming off the road from touring around the world with Jesse Cook. When McKhool (who has performed with Jesse Cook, Pavlo, Club Django) first heard guitarist Laliberté’s rumba rhythm their musical mind-meld created Sultans of String’s sound – the intimate and playful relationship between the violin and the flamenco guitar.  Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, creating soundscapes that seem impossible to be coming from just two people.

Larger than the sum of its parts, this dynamic duo take you on a journey to hear the horses of Sable Island, underwater to hear the calls of Luna the Whale, on the silk road through Spain and the Middle East, through the Gypsy-jazz cafés of Eastern Europe, and then back to Canada for a trip to the majestic Arctic.

“Virtuoso playing…. An exuberant and infectious sound… Powerful and moving… The Sultans are simply an awesome musical group!” – Mariposa Folk Festival

“Musical royalty… love those Sultans of String!” — CBC “Fresh Air”

“Thrill of improvising makes Sultans a thrill to experience… gripping suspense for both the audience and the musicians… Superb!” – Edmonton Journal

ARTSCAN CIRCLE
==============

ArtsCan Circle is a charitable organization with a mission to encourage self-ArtsCan Circleesteem in indigenous youth in isolated Canadian communities who may not have access to arts resources and programming through a cooperative exploration of the arts.  We believe arts education can inspire youth to express themselves in positive, life-affirming ways as well as providing a healthy way to express more difficult emotions. The communities we serve are several hours drive from larger city centres and most of the families live at a poverty level so do not have the means to access more arts opportunities for their children outside of their home community. ArtsCan Circle provides hands-on music and art experiences for the children and youth and donates new musical instruments and art supplies that will remain in the community to help ensure children will have ongoing opportunities for artistic and musical expression. If you’re interested to learn more about ArtsCan Circle, please visit www.artscancircle.ca or follow us on Facebook.

Tour schedule:  http://www.sultansofstring.com/tour
http://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
http://www.twitter.com/sultansofstring

Sultans of String: Booking/Publicity/Management:
Lisa Weitz, LW Communications
lw@lwcommunications.ca
416-624-3466

World Fiddle Day Toronto is Saturday, May 16, 2015 at Fort York

World Fiddle Day TorontoMedia Release: April 24, 2015

WORLD FIDDLE DAY TORONTO
Saturday, May 16 at Fort York
10 am to 5:30 pm

CONTACT: Anne Lederman: (416) 538-9036 or anne.lederman@gmail.com www.worldfiddledaytoronto.ca
World Fiddle Day Toronto on Facebook

Imagine 50 – 100 fiddlers in one place, playing 40 tunes from 25 different countries. Accompanying them is a fantastic back-up band of world percussion, clarinet, and keys celebrating world music. Join our Guest Artists (see below) for an afternoon concert, and then stay for the giant community “Around-the-World” Fiddle Jam.

The countdown is on! All activities from noon on are FREE at Fort York on May 16th. Please help spread the word far and wide. You can come and enjoy a great concert with Subhadra Vijarykumar (Carnatic fiddling from India), Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberte (Sultans of String), The Metis Fiddler Quartet and Soozi Shlangar and Peter Jellard of Swamperella. After that, it’s our Around-the-World jam led by Anne Lederman, Lea Kirstein, Eli Bender with great house band: Tom Leighton, Ben Grossman and Martin Van de Ven. Last year we had 60 fiddles, this year we’re aiming for a 100. There’s still two practice sessions left and workshops in the morning of with our guest artists.

10:00 11:30 Workshops with Guest Artists $20.

World Fiddle Day Toronto Workshops

12:30 2:00 Guest Artists Concert

2:30 5:30 Around-the-World” Fiddle Jam with Anne Lederman, Lea Kirstein, Eli Bender, Martin Van de Ven, Tom Leighton and Ben Grossman.

WORLD ARTISTS CONCERT AND WORKSHOPS

Subhadra Vijaykumar Subhadra Vijaykumar (violin with Arun Ramachandran (mrdangam): A Toronto based Carnatic (South Indian) violinist and the Artistic Director of Radha Carnatic Violin Creations, Subhadra performs the unique music of South India throughout Canada and internationally for classical Indian dance performances and solo concerts.

Chris McKhool (6-string violin) & Kevin Laliberté (guitar): Chris plays a six-Chris McKhool and Kevin Lalibertestring electro-acoustic violin and is known both for his world music performances with Sultans of String and his music for young people. With Kevin, he creates a playful relationship with the flamenco guitar, where acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry.

Soozi Schlanger & Peter JellardSoozi Schlanger & Peter Jellard: Soozi and Peter, our resident ambassadors of the bayou are founding members of Swamperellara. For over 20 years they have immersed themselves in Cajun and Zydeco music, taking it to festivals around the world.

Métis Fiddler Quartet: Born in Winnipeg, the MFQ take old Aboriginal fiddle Métis Fiddler Quartettraditions from the prairies and give them new life. They have performed across Canada and internationally, including the Vancouver Olympics. Their debut album, North West Voyage, (2012) won a Canadian Folk Music Award for “Best Traditional Album.”

Watch Last Year’s Jam on YouTube

Thanks to: Long & McQuade; Fort York; Toronto Arts Council; Mariposa in the Schools.

The Perfect Proposal Song for This Valentine’s Day is by Sultans of String!

Happy Valentine's Day from Sultans of StringWorld music super group Sultans of String, who play everything from flamenco to Arabic folk, gypsy-jazz to Cuban rhythms are back in Ontario after a successful 10 date tour in beautiful British Columbia during which they performed with Symphony of the Kootenays, led by conductor Jeff Faragher who joined the Sultans on the tour on cello, as well as the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra.

The band includes leader and violinist Chris McKhool, Kevin Laliberte and Eddie Paton on guitars, Drew Birston on bass, Chendy Leon and Alberto Suarez on percussion.Sultans of String Quintet

Chris McKhool and Sultans of String would like to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day this week.

I wanted to share this song I wrote as a proposal for my wife Catherine… We are both environmentalists, and we met at a composting convention… I was hired to sing environmental songs that day, and Catherine was the environmental representative at the London School Board at the time. We met over a composting unit, and our relationship just grew organically from there…

Please have a listen to Will You Marry Me, the perfect proposal song if you’re thinking of popping the question to your loved one this February 14th!

Coming up next for Sultans of String is a performance with the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, February 22, 2014, 8:00 PM, at Glad Tidings Church, 1101 Regent Street, Sudbury ON.

If you have an opportunity to see Sultans of String in concert, don’t miss it because you’ll be in for a magical evening! Get their new and most ambitious album to date, Symphony!, now at www.sultansofstring.com under the Listen/Buy tab. You can WIN a box set of all four of their CDs by participating in their Valentine’s Day contest on Facebook. The contest post is pinned to the top of their page at www.facebook.com/sultansofstring. Good luck!

Sultans of String Release ‘Symphony!’

Sultans of String Symphony!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHO ‘n’ WHAT:  Sultans of String release “Symphony!”

BAND WEB:  http://www.sultansofstring.com;                     https://www.facebook.com/sultansofstringhttps://twitter.com/sultansofstring

QUICK STREAM:  http://www.sultansofstring.com/listen

VIDEO:  http://www.youtube.com/user/sultansofstring

____________________________________________________________

On September 17, 2013, JUNO Award nominees, 2x CFMA & ISC winners, Sultans of String, release their raucous roots-world symphonic mash-up, simply and perfectly titled, “Symphony!”.

Known for dizzying roots music jams, poly-rhythms and revved up riffs, the Sultans of String sound can’t be pinned down — it’s Sable Island meets the Silk Road, with detours through the Gypsy-Jazz coffeehouses of Eastern Europe, next an East Coast Kitchen Party, then over to the majestic Arctic and bustling markets of Lebanon.

Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar while funky bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic mastery meets with a symphony of sound, deepened by world rhythms that inspire whole audiences to get up and dance.

Kicking things off as a dynamic duo playing tiny cafes in 2007, this fiercely talented and hardworking indie act has been on a meteoric rise, with an astonishing number of awards and accolades in tow.  Invitations to play world stages and with such legendary artists as The Chieftains and David Bromberg are recent highlights. The Chieftains’ very own Paddy Moloney also appears on “Symphony!”.

“Symphony!” is distributed on SONY/RED through Red River Entertainment.  Bob Frank, chairman of Red River (former President of Koch/EI Entertainment) states, “We welcome the opportunity to work with one of Canada’s most innovative groups and look forward to expanding their music and footprint in the US”.

Sultans of String are also represented in the US by acclaimed promoter David Wilkes (Koch Records, Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck).  “I have worked with numerous top ten chart songs and #1 Pop Billboard and Country music hits”, Wilkes says.  “In all that time, I have not worked with composers more talented than Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberté from Sultans of String. Not only are they a superb writing team, they are also amazing arrangers & musicians. “Symphony!” is a gigantic leap forward.”

The band is led by 6-string violinist Chris McKhool (Jesse Cook, Pavlo) who grew up in a Lebanese-Egyptian (Makhoul) house bursting with music and diversity. Growing up, Chris was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality alongside Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons.

When McKhool first heard founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s rumba rhythm, their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. From this rich foundation, the dynamic duo has grown, featuring such amazing musical friends as 2nd guitarist Eddie Paton (Robert Michaels), bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk, Amanda Martinez), and Cuban percussionist Chendy Leon (Parachute Club, Alex Cuba), as well as special guests such as Palestinian oud master Bassam Bishara, folk-pop darlings Dala, The Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney, ukulele giant James Hill, and others.

Classically-schooled McKhool thought “why stop there?” With “Symphony!”, Sultans of String have brought the glorious and majestic sound of a full orchestra to their feisty roots-world compositions, to create the ultimate crossover concert and recording.

Due to astronomical costs, orchestral CDs are rarely recorded on Canadian soil, but in such faraway places as Russia or Prague. “But our Canadian musicians are the best on the planet” McKhool asserts, “so we put together an all-star orchestra comprised of our favourite players from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Ballet Orchestra, all with no label support. We are super proud of what we achieved.”

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TOUR SCHEDULE

Sept 21 – Lake House Music, East Lansing MI

Sept 22 – Nighttown, Cleveland OH

Oct 5 – Performing with Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, Peterborough ON

Oct 11 – Festival Place, Edmonton, AB

Oct 12 – Nickelodeon Music Club, Calgary, AB

Oct 19 – Bancroft Village Playhouse, Bancroft ON

Nov 1 – Registry Theatre, Kitchener, ON

Nov 3 – Mapleview House Concerts, Markdale ON

Nov 7 – Abilene Lounge, Rochester, NY

Nov 10 – The Black Sheep, Wakefield QC

Nov 15 – Nelson Odeon, Nelson, NY

Nov 16 – Oswego Music Hall, Oswego, NY

Nov 17 – Sportsmen’s Tavern, Buffalo NY

Dec 1 – Koerner Hall – Symphony CD Release, Toronto ON

Dec 4 – Sculler’s Jazz Club, Boston MA

Dec 5 – Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda, MD

Dec 6 – Joe’s Pub, New York NY

Dec 7 – Building 24 Live, Reading PA

Dec 8 – Bridge Street Live, Collinsville CT

2014
Jan 11 – Matapa Music, Hamilton ON

Jan 18 – Mary Webb Centre, Highgate, ON

Jan 19 – Private Concert, Mississauga, ON

Jan 29 – Capitol Theatre, Nelson BC

Jan 30 – Creston Concert Society, Creston, BC

Feb 1 – Performing with Symphony of the Kootenays, Cranbrook, BC

Feb 2 – Performing with Symphony of the Kootenays, Cranbrook, BC

Feb 4 – Creekside Theatre, Lake Country BC

Feb 5 – Roundhouse Theatre, McBride, BC

Feb 7-8 – Performing with Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops, BC

Feb 22 – Performing with Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, Sudbury ON

Mar 22 – Performing with Northumberland Symphony Orchestra, Cobourg ON

Apr 2 – House About Tonight, Spotsylvania VA

Apr 3 – Strand Theater, Waynesville NC

Apr 4 – Carrboro Arts Center, Carrboro NC

Apr 5 – The White Horse, Black Mountain NC

Apr 6 – BK House Concerts, Asheville NC

Apr 11 – Ten Pound Fiddle Concert Series, East Lansing, MI

Apr 26 – Performing with Niagara Symphony Orchestra, ON, Family Show

Apr 27 – Performing with Niagara Symphony Orchestra POPS concert

May 4 – great music series to be announced shortly

May 11 – Minnesota Orchestra, Young People’s Concert

May 16-18 – Trails Tales Tunes Festival, Norris Point Gros Morne National
Park, NL

May 31 – Heartland Concerts at Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Road,
Greece, NY

Jun 13 – Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora ON

Jul 18/19 – Stewart Park Festival, Perth ON

Aug 1-3 – Blue Skies Folk Festival, Clarendon ON

Oct 2/3 – with a Symphony in Chicago, details tba


WHAT FOLKS SAY ABOUT THE SULTANS…

“Kings of the strings!” — METRO Toronto

“Sultans of String are one of Canada’s hottest new musical exports, dynamically embodying their homeland’s values of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures. … they weave a gorgeously-hued tapestry of Folk, Spanish, Arabic, Latin, French and gypsy strands.” — Celtic Connections Festival, UK

“Love those Sultans of String!” — CBC Radio, “Fresh Air”

“Simply brilliant!” — 3NRG 99.3FM, Australia

“Strunz and Farah meets a Cuban rhythm and horn section?  First Canada impresses us with the depth of their cabaret scene now they blow us away with the depth of their world beat scene.  Simply a killer set worthy of all the award recognition it’s been grabbing for the recording and the band.  Everything you could want not put out on the Nonesuch Explorer Series. A real culture clash that harbors no border wars, contemporary world beat and contemporary instrumental fans can only go wrong if they ignore this set.  Killer stuff throughout.” — Midwest Record

“Sultans of String seem to be hoovering up Canadian awards and nominations like a Dyson on speed — a joyful melting pot of jazz, flamenco, folk, and indeed anything else that takes their fancy… this is the sort of band and music that would rip up any festival in the country.” — Maverick Magazine

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

•  2013 ISC International Songwriting Competition Finalist – Instrumental
•  2013 SiriusXM Canadian Indie Awards nominees – World Group of the Year
•  2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (Chris McKhool)
•  2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners– World Music Group of the Year
•  2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Instrumental Group of the Year
•  2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Pushing The Boundaries
•  2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Producer of the Year (Chris
McKhool)
•  2012 OCFF Songs of the Heart Winner
•  2012 Festivals & Events-Entertainer of The Year
•  2011 Ontario Contact – Artist of the Year
•  2011 International Acoustic Music Awards Finalist – Instrumental
•  2011 Independent Music Award Finalist – Instrumental Album
•  2011 Independent Music Award Finalist –  World Beat Album
•  2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition Finalist  – Instrumental
•  2011 ISC International Songwriting Competition Finalist – World Music
•  2010 JUNO Nominees – “Instrumental Album of the Year”
•  2010 International Songwriting Contest 1st Place Winners – Instrumental
•  2010 Indie Awards Nominees – Favorite World Artist/Group
•  2009 Canadian Folk Music Award winner – Instrumental Group of the Year
•  2009 Canadian Folk Music Award nominees – Ensemble of the Year
•  2009 Canadian Folk Music Award nominees – Pushing The Boundaries
____________________________________________________________

Sultans of String gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council,
Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, FACTOR, RCM, NOW Magazine,
Classical 96.3, Small World Music, Long & McQuade