Sultans of String Nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year at 2015 Juno Awards

Juno Awards 2015 Instrumental Album of the Year nominees When my client, Chris McKhool, who is the leader of Juno nominated, CFMA winning, SIRIUSXM Independent Music Award winning and IMA Independent Music Award winning World Music super group Sultans of String asked me to put aside some time for him this morning as of 11:00 am to watch the 2015 Juno Award Nominees broadcast online live from The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, I did.

I was very excited for them and it felt like it took a while (although I was excited for other artists who I know and love who were nominated) but finally, the Instrumental Album of the Year nominees were announced and Sultans of String made the cut for their album Symphony! They join fellow nominees:

Canadian Brass for Great Wall of China
Daniel Lanois for Flesh and Machine
John Stetch for Off With the Cuffs
Encuentro for Quartango

It’s such a thrill for me to see one of my clients be nominated or receive a prestigious award for not only their undeniable talent but also the heaps and heaps of hard work that they put into their careers. I work with a lot of musicians but no one I know works harder than Chris McKhool for his craft or the production and marketing of it. It truly takes a village to keep a band like Sultans of String moving forward in the music industry and his team, including manager Dave Wilkes, publicist Lisa Weitz of LW Communciations, and incredibly talented band mates, Kevin Laliberte, Drew Birston, Eddie Paton, Chendy Leon and Alberto Suarez have what it takes.

Sultans of String are currently working on their fifth album, a collaboration with sitar fusion virtuoso Anwar Khurshid, whose music has been featured in the Oscar-winning movie Life of Pi.

I can’t wait to see what happens next for Sultans of String! The 44th annual JUNO Awards will be broadcast on CTV from FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton on Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Drew Birston, Kevin Laliberte and Chris McKhool

Drew Birston, Kevin Laliberte & Chris McKhool at the 2015 Juno Award Nominations at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto today.

 

Sultans of String Release Official Music Video for “Will You Marry Me”

Award-winning world music super group Sultans of String have just released their brand new video for the Chris McKhool penned “Will You Marry Me”, the proposal song he wrote for his lovely wife Catherine who appears in the video with their beautiful young daughter, River. Not only is this the perfect proposal song but I think it’s the perfect song for a first dance at a wedding too. Unabashedly romantic, this is certainly one of Sultans of String’s finest!

 

Toronto, Markham, Oshawa- Mark your calendars!Sultans of String Live with Ontario Philharmonic

Friday, November 28, 2014 – 8pm
with the Ontario Philharmonic
Regent Theatre
50 King St E, Oshawa
http://www.ontariophil.ca/
905-579-6711

Saturday, November 29, 2014 – 8pm
with the Ontario Philharmonic
Flato Markham Theatre
171 Town Centre Blvd, Markham
http://tinyurl.com/q8ac9st
905-579-6711

Thursday, December 4, 2014 – 8pm
Sultans and Divas
Koerner Hall
273 Bloor St W, Toronto
http://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/sultans_divas
416-408-0208 $35+

First up, two shows with the amazing Ontario Philharmonic performing the songs from their 2014 multiple award winning album, “Symphony!”, at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre on November 28 and Flato Markham Theatre on November 29.

I used to play classical violin in the youth symphony orchestras. I really love that sound and one of the things that I like to do with Sultans of String is lead us in different directions so that we can explore different sides of our musical selves. I thought it would be a really fantastic musical exploration to hear those world music grooves and rhythms and melodies with the majesty and the glory of the symphony orchestra. There really is nothing like it! ~ Chris McKhool

 

Then Sultans of String perform a collaborative concert with a whole team of heavy hitters in “Sultans & Divas – Discoveries in Canadian Arab Performing Arts” at Toronto’s Koerner Hall, December 4, 2014. The Canadian Arab Institute is co-producing this glittering cultural event featuring a dynamic assortment of opera, world music, literature and dance.

Sultans and Divas at Koerner HallAward-winning singer and actress Julie Nesrallah will perform Arab-inspired arias; critically acclaimed soprano Miriam Khalil will offer renditions of the legendary Fairuz; the Montreal orchestra OktoEcho, appearing for the first time in Toronto, will perform their own brilliant blend of East-West sounds; and Juno-nominated Sultans of String will deliver their joyful and liberating fusion music.

Quotes

“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. The large orchestra certainly does give them gravitas but, on their own, they’ve got as much charm as they need.” ~ Buffalo News 

 

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.”

— 30 —

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

Sultans of String SYMPHONY! CD Release with Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra at Koerner Hall on Dec. 1st

Sultans of String SYMPHONY! CD Release at Koerner Hall on Dec. 1, 2013Hello friends, my clients Sultans of String are thrilled to announce that advance tix are now on sale for their biggest show yet, their SYMPHONY! CD release with the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra.

This will take place Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Toronto’s prestigious Koerner Hall. If you have not had the opportunity to see a concert at Koerner come experience this gorgeous space with this exciting show.

Koerner Hall has just announced their upcoming season and have given Sultans of String the opportunity to reach out to their fans early so you can all get great seats, starting at $25.

For those of who who have sponsored and pre-ordered albums, they are mailing them on Sept 1.  Thanks for your support!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHO:  Sultans of String with the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra “Symphony” CD Release Concert

WHEN:  Sunday, December 1, 2013, 7pm

WHERE:  Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor St W, Toronto

INFO/TIX:  http://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/sultans-string-cathedral-bluffs-symphony-orchestra ~ Tickets start at $25

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

_____________________________________________________________

Sumptuous. Sizzling. Symphony!

On Sun. Dec 1, JUNO Award Nominees and 2x CFMA winners, Sultans of String, launch their dazzling orchestral CD, simply and perfectly titled, “Symphony!”, at Koerner Hall!

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, and now, invitations to play the world stage and with such legendary artists as The Chieftains (whose very own Paddy Moloney appears on the new “Symphony” disc!).

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

Sultans of String’s symphony Pops show was developed under the direction of luminary John Morris Russell, (Conductor-Cincinnati Pops Orchestra), and was scored by illustrious arranger/composer Rebecca Pellett (Toronto Symphony Orchestra, IMAX & Hollywood film productions, Barenaked Ladies).  They recently performed a triumphant 8 show run with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thompson Hall for their Education Series, and have release concerts with SOs already scheduled into 2015.

Since their formation only 6 years ago, Sultans of String have hit #1 on world/international music charts in North America, to their quadruple 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, winning World Music Group of the Year. They also took home 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition out of 15,000 entries! The band has been recorded live for broadcast on BBC Television, SiriusXM in Washington DC, and CBC’s Canada Live.

With Symphony!, Sultans of String have brought the glorious and majestic sound of a full orchestra to their world music compositions, to create the ultimate crossover concert and recording. Due to the cost, 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 says, “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!”

Thanks to — Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, FACTOR, RCM, Small World Music, Long & McQuade