JUNO nominees and 2x Canadian Folk Music Awards winners, Sultans of String celebrate the release of their ultimate world-classical crossover CD 'Symphony!'
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• 2013 Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal (Chris McKhool)
• 2013 Festivals & Events - Performer of The Year
• 2013 ISC International Songwriting Competition Finalist - Instrumental
• 2013 SiriusXM Canadian Indie Awards nominees - World Group of the Year
• 2013 Songs of the Heart Award Winner - Instrumental
• 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 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
• 2008 International Songwriting Competition winner - Instrumental
• 2008 Festivals and Events Ontario - Best Variety Act
Sumptuous. Sizzling. Symphony!
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, next an East Coast Kitchen
Party, then over to the majestic Arctic and the vibrant
streets of Havana.
Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenca 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 such world stages as Koerner, and with such legendary
artists as The Chieftains who not only invited them to guest
during their Spring tour in Connecticut, but whose very
own Paddy Moloney appears on 'Symphony!' The disc is distributed
by SONY/RED though 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
Sultans of String are also represented
in the U.S. by acclaimed manager/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 Laliberte from Sultans of String. Not only are they
a superb writing team, they are also amazing arrangers and
musicians. This new CD 'Symphony!' is a gigantic leap forward.'
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). They recently performed a triumphant
8 show run with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thompson
Hall for their Education Series, and have booked release
concerts with symphonies well into 2015.
The band is led by JUNO-nominated 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 Laliberte'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, Dala, The Chieftain's Paddy Moloney,
ukulele giant James Hill, famed producer Ken Whiteley, and
thought 'why stop there?' With 'Symphony!' Sultans of String
have brought the glorious and majestic sound of a full orchestra
to their feisty world-jazz 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.'
'Sultans of String were a huge
success! The Sultansí sound is fresh, exotic and entrancing,
and the orchestral arrangements are absolutely first class.
They also had a great time with the audience who were mesmerized
and ecstatic throughout the show. The Sultans are virtuosic
soloists and as an ensemble are one of the tightest groups
I've ever worked with!' - Maestro John Morris Russell,
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
'I had the pleasure of hearing
the Sultans of Strings perform with the Toronto Symphony.
It was terrific, and included everything I look for... the
Orchestra had many opportunities to shine, the Sultans provided
engaging/entertaining world music elements... I look forward
to presenting Sultans with the Minnesota Orchestra!' -
Jim Bartsch, Minnesota Orchestra
'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
'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
'I was impressed by the virtuoso
musicianship displayed by all of the members of this group.
The orchestrations were sumptuous, providing a lush background
to the captivating performance of Chris and his colleagues.
The audience was brought to its feet at the end of the show,
demonstrating that they really enjoyed a truly Canadian
musical experience!' - Maestro Norman Reintamm,
'The show at Skye was just wonderful
- a friend (who has lived hither and yon and seen lots of
great music in his life) said it was the best concert he'd
ever seen in his life. Wow!' - Deborah Sutton Robie,
Kingfield POPS!, Maine
'I had so much fun working with
Sultans of String. They bring their great talents, fantastic
orchestral arrangements and an abundance of energy on stage.
There is something for everybody here!' - Shalom
Bard, RBC Resident Conductor, Toronto Symphony Orchestra
'Sultans of String have created
an exciting sound world that is completely their own. They
have mastered the perfect balance of spontaneity and virtuosity
that makes for an energetic, tight and entertaining show!'
- Olga Mychajluk, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
'Sultans of String have created
a nonstop whirlwind of exotic musical energy, stirring up
dizzying world music jams driven by polyrhythms and revved
up riffs , driven by McKhool's explosive violin dances and
Laliberte's kinetic yet graceful guitar' - Jazz
'The affection for this group
was palpable as the band alternated between sincere tributes
to whales, Sable Island horses and Mayan ruins, meditative
rumba Flamenco, fiery solos, precise and melodic phrases.'
- The WholeNote
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