Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
Sultans of String
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Sultans of String

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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Career Highlights

• 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 US.'

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 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 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, Conductor CBSO

'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 Monthly

'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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