[Toronto ON] Celebrate the season with a trip around the world on Dec 11th at Hugh’s Room when 2x JUNO nom/2x CFMA winning Sultans of String perform their new Christmas Caravan concert, an exuberant show featuring originals, world music inspired classics, and seasonal favourites to warm your heart on a cold winter’s night. From fiery fiddle tunes to a Caribbean sleigh ride, this surprising and delightful holiday fiesta heats up when Sultans of String bring their signature sound to well known gems such as Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, The Huron Carol (with translated Indigenous lyrics), Little Drummer Boy, a ska-inspired Feliz Navidad, a Turkish twist on Greensleeves, A Charlie Brown Christmas, not to mention a Gypsy-Jazz inspired Django Christmas and a Flamenca-fuelled Jingle Bells.
This one-of-a-kind show will also feature shimmering guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell (Alanis Morissette, Jane Siberry, Emmylou Harris) and is a sneak peek of their upcoming companion CD that features such luminary special guest artists as The Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney, Alex Cuba, Sweet Honey In The Rock, The Good Lovelies, Waleed Abdulhamid, Crystal Shawanda, Ruben Blades, Richard Bona, a Turkish orchestra and more!
An “energetic and exciting band with talent to burn!” (Maverick Magazine UK), Sultans of String thrill audiences with their musical passport of Celtic reels, Flamenco, Gypsy-jazz, Arabic, and Cuban rhythms. Fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar, while funky bass and percussion lay down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound. They are touring non-stop in support of their latest release, Subcontinental Drift, with sitar master Anwar Khurshid (Oscar winning Life of Pi).
Since forming 10 years ago, Sultans of String have hit #1 across Canada on Top 10 national radio charts, and received multiple awards and accolades, including 1st place in the ISC (out of 15,000 entries), 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards, a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for bandleader Chris McKhool, plus invitations to perform/record with such luminaries as The Chieftains, Sweet Honey In The Rock, and Livingston Taylor.
The band is led by 5-string violinist McKhool (Jesse Cook, Pavlo) who was raised in a Lebanese-Egyptian household just bursting with music and diversity. Growing up, Chris was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality alongside Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons. At the core of the band’s sound is his 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 for this show is in-the-pocket bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), guitarist Eddie Paton (Robert Michaels) and jaw-dropping percussionist Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba, Ron Sexsmith).
The band’s US manager and acclaimed promoter David Wilkes (Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Jeff Walker) states, “Over the decades, I’ve worked with numerous top ten and #1 Billboard artists. 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.
Sultans of String have been criss-crossing North America for the last several years 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 Symphony Orchestras, as well as with The Kingsfield POPS in Maine. Sultans of String were recently filmed by MPBN’s Maine Arts! in a feature concert, and performed live on BBC TV, Irish National Radio, and the internationally syndicated shows WoodSongs, World Cafe, and on SiriusXM in Washington.
“Sultans of String are musical royalty!”
CBC, “Fresh Air”
Brilliant! I loved it. Best world music we have had here. See you next year!”
Queens Hall, Narbeth UK
“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.“
Midwest Record, Chicago
“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
• 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees– World Music Group of the Year
• 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats
• 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 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- 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)
• 2008 International Songwriting Competition Winner (ISC) – Instrumental