Sultans of String
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Now Streaming Live to your living room!!
SULTANS OF STRING have developed a LIVESTREAM program to help out concert series this coming season. It can be all Live or a combination of a Live-stream performance and playing videos from our past performances, as well as an artist chat component. This is with Sultans of String as well as young audience shows with Fiddlefire.
Over the past dozen years and six albums, McKhool and his bandmates — co-founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté, bassist Drew Birston, Cuban percussionist Rosendo Chendy Leon and second guitarist Eddie Paton — have excelled at both. Thrilling listeners around North America with their genre-hopping fusion of Celtic reels, flamenco, Django-jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms, Sultans of String celebrate diversity and creativity with warmth and virtuosity. And they often do it with artists such as Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains, Richard Bona, Benoit Bourque (Bottine Souriante), Nikki Yanofsky, Alex Cuba, Ruben Blades, Crystal Shawanda and Ken Whiteley.
With their historic and visionary seventh album Refuge, McKhool and co. bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration into the studio like never before. Their most ambitious, diverse, inclusive and passionately political album, Refuge puts the Toronto-based Sultans face-to-face with a VIP roster of artists from around the globe — including American banjo master Béla Fleck, Israeli vocalist Yasmin Levy and others, like Iraqi violinst Imah Al Taha and Iranian santur master Amir Amiri, who have fled the peril and persecution of their homelands for the safer shores of North America.
Of course, Sultans of String have never taken the easy road. Since releasing their debut album Luna in 2007, they 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 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. No matter the venue, the goal is the same, McKhool says.
“I’ve always wanted our concerts to be a place where everyone feels welcome. I want to reach out to diverse communities to say, ‘Come out and enjoy music with us — you’re going to have a really good time. It benefits society as a whole, to have people from around the world blending their ideas, mixing their cultures.”
And sharing the wealth.
“Virtuoso playing…. An exuberant and infectious sound… Powerful and moving…The Sultans are simply an awesome musical group!” – Mike Hill, Artistic Director, Mariposa Folk Festival
“They are players without borders… world music that transcends place and time with a heavy dose of playfulness added in.” – The Vancouver Province
“Chris McKhool and the boys were fantastic! They can play my Bar Mitzvah.” – Bob Ezrin, producer (Pink Floyd, Kiss)
“Simply brilliant!” – Jeff Mifsud, 3NRG 99.3FM, Australia
Nominations and awards
- 2022 Folk Music Ontario – Song of the Year – Mi Santuario, also nom. for Performer of the Year
- 2022 Cannes World Film Festival – Best Musical Film
- 2022 Canadian Folk Music Awards quadruple nominees – results in April 2023 – Contemporary, Global Roots, Pushing the Boundaries, and Producer of the Year
- 2022 Burlington’s Best Local Musician/Band
- 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards winner for Producer of the Year with Refuge
- 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee for Ensemble of the Year with Refuge
- 2021 Canadian Independent Music Association – Pivot Award
- 2021 Markham Performing Arts Awards – Professional Artist of the Year
- 2021 International Songwriting Competition – World Music – Mi Santuario
- 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee for Producer of the Year with Refuge
- 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee for Ensemble of the Year with Refuge
- 2020 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award – Instrumental – “Refuge”
- 2020 Folk Music Ontario- Songwriting Award – Political – “I Am a Refugee”
- 2020 Independent Music Awards – Instrumental Song of the Year – The Grand Bazaar
- 2020 Independent Music Awards – World Music Producer of the Year – Refuge
- 2019 International Songwriting Competition- Folk semi-finals – “Power of the Land”
- 2019 International Songwriting Competition- Performance semi-finals – “Power of the Land”
- 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards– Producer of the Year nomination for McKhool
- 2017 New York Times Hits List
- 2017 USA Billboard World Music Charts – CHRISTMAS CARAVAN CD hits #6
- 2017 JUNO Award Nominees – World Music Album of the Year- SUBCONTINENTAL DRIFT
- 2017 USA Billboard World Music Charts – SUBCONTINENTAL DRIFT CD hits #15
- 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award – World Group of the Year- SUBCONTINENTAL DRIFT
- 2016 Global Music Awards– World Music / Beats
- 2015 JUNO Award Nominees for “Instrumental Album of the Year” – Symphony!
- 2015 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) – Subcontinental Drift
- 2015 Toronto Independent Music Award Winner – 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 (Producer), Rebecca Pellett (Associate Producer)
- 2013 ISC International Songwriting Competition- Instrumental category – “Monti’s Revenge”
- 2013 Folk Music Ontario- Songs of the Heart Winner – Instrumental category – “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 of the Year & Pushing The Boundaries
- 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee- Producer of the Year for 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 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 Boundries)
- 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 Canadian Folk Music Award nominees – Best Instrumentalist Group