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Symphony Concerts


Les concert des Sultans of String sont également disponible en français.

3x JUNO Award Nominees and “Ambassadors of musical diversity” Sultans of String thrill their audiences with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, foot-stomping Celtic, and Django-jazz in a celebration of musical fusion and human creativity infused with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Acoustic mastery meets with a symphony of sound, deepened by world rhythms that inspire whole audiences to get up and dance.

Thanks to OAC funding, Sultans of String is launching a new symphony show to add to their BILLBOARD charting Pops, Christmas, Family and Education concerts.  Please get in touch with bandleader Chris McKhool if you are interested in any programs at

All shows come with a complete set of royalty-free printed and bowed scores and parts.

“Sultans of String were a huge success! The Sultans’ 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!”
– John Morris Russell, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra


Based on the album and film that won Best Music Film at the Cannes World Film Festival last year, Sultans of String bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration like never before with their most ambitious, diverse, and passionately inclusive concert. REFUGE puts the Toronto-based Sultans face-to-face with a VIP roster of artists from around the globe, who have fled the peril and persecution of their homelands for the safer shores of North America.

“This is a project that is centred around the positive contributions of refugees and new immigrants to Canada” says bandleader Chris McKhool (ancestral name Makhoul), whose Lebanese grandfather stowed away on a ship bound for North America a century ago. “We are bringing in special guests that are newcomers to this land, as well as global talents who have been ambassadors for peace. We wish to celebrate the successes of those who make the journey here, and bring their extraordinary talents with them. We hope that the kinds of conversations we can have as musicians can provide a model for peace that our politicians and citizens find inspiration from.”

You can view the REFUGE FILM TRAILER here

And here is a REFUGE SIZZLE REEL from the show


Walking Through the Fire – Indigenous Collaborations

What do Crystal Shawanda, Leela Gilday, Northern Cree powwow group, a dozen other Indigenous artists, and Roots band Sultans of String have in common? They have all come together in the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and Final Report that calls for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to work together to show a path forward, and together have created Walking Through the Fire. This album and live show are a powerful collection of collaborations between the roots group and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists from across Turtle Island

Stratford Symphony and Sultans of String feat. Northern Cree

Symphony Pops

Sultans of String’s 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). The show runs up to two hours including song introductions/storytelling, and the instrumentation is 2222 (no doubling), 4331, timp + 2 perc, optional harp and orchestral strings. A full library of ready-to-play, bowed parts is available. No music need be rented.

They are also available for family concerts, and educational concerts developed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Sultans of String performed a triumphant run at Roy Thompson Hall, playing 8 shows with the TSO.


Christmas Caravan!

SOS_Christmas Fiesta pic smallerChristmas Caravan! A world music romp through the holiday season.

Celebrate the Christmas season with a trip around the world! 3x JUNO Award-nominees Sultans of String deliver an exuberant performance 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, Jesous Ahatonhia (with gorgeous newly-translated lyrics), a Turkish twist on Greensleeves, Silent Night, as well as a Hot Club inspired Django Christmas, and a Rumba-Flamenca fuelled Jingle Bells. Sultans of String are joined by shimmering guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell (Jane Siberry, Emmylou Harris, Alanis Morissette).

This show was created in collaboration with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador Lucas Waldin, who combines a flare for pops with a passion for audience engagement and innovative programming.

Le concert des Sultans of String est également disponible en français.

“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 an infectious energy and an enviable talent that allows them to slide easily between styles and genres.  Combining with top quality orchestral arrangements and a stylish, easy-going onstage presence, the Sultans have found a recipe for success!” – Lucas Waldin, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

Family/Education Audiences

Hailed as a “Children’s musical star” (National Post) and “Canada’s greatest eco-troubadour for young people” (Mississauga Living Arts Centre), JUNO Award nominee and CFMA winner Chris McKhool is one of Canada’s hottest musicians for young people. Chris has been touring the world with his children’s concerts for two decades, reaching over 1 million children live in concert, and has appeared on Mr. Dressup, YTV’s Treehouse, TVOntario’s Crawlspace and the CBC.

Chris brings his love of violin to young audiences and tours his FiddleFire! concert for children in festivals, concert halls and schools across Canada. Closer to home he has performed at Toronto Harbourfront’s Cushion Concert series, the Toronto Jazz Festival, and has headlined Toronto’s First Night at the Skydome/Rogers Centre. His 2009 JUNO Award nominated “FiddleFire!” CD won the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award for Children’s Album of the Year. A champion of environmental issues, Chris created the world’s largest bicycle bell orchestra at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto with over 800 bell ringers!

More press

“Sultans of String were a huge success! The Sultans’ 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. Each of the Sultans are virtuosic soloists and as an ensemble are one of the tightest groups I’ve ever worked with!” – Maestro John Morris Russell, Conductor-Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

“I absolutely love your material!  The arrangements, orchestration and performances are all spectacular!” – Lucas Richman, Music Director & Conductor, Bangor Symphony Orchestra

“Take Chris McKhool’s Sultans of String and add the power of a full symphony orchestra – what do you get?   One great big world-music Kitchen Party!  This rollicking concert bursts onto the stage with infectious charm, outstanding musicianship and a genuine connection with the audience!” – Candice Turner-Smith – Niagara Symphony Orchestra

“Fantastic program… a smash success with a near sellout crowd and almost every audience member stopping to share their gratitude and appreciation for both the music and the energy of the band.  The success was magnified with the Fiddlefire! program the next day.  We were astonished at the turnout and the audiences reaction. We found that Chris’ Fiddlefire! program worked beautifully with the whole orchestra bringing a fun and educational concert to our community.  The band members are consummate musicians and very easy to work worth.  In addition, the charts have been expertly conceived.  Our entire ensemble was smiling through the rehearsals and right to the very last note.  I would highly recommend this program for your series as it was a critical win for the SOTK and our ongoing efforts to keep a Symphony Orchestra alive in the interior of BC.” – Jeff Faragher, Music and Artistic Director, Symphony of the Kootenays

“I had the pleasure of hearing the Sultans of Strings perform with the Toronto Symphony in April, 2013.  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 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

“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

“You were amazing! We are continuing to  receive wonderful feedback from our patrons, many of whom are asking to have you back!” – Shelley Sharpe, Windsor Symphony Orchestra

“The show 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, Executive Director, Kingfield POPS!, Maine

“The incredible blending of musical influences, steeped in stories of real Canadians, portrayed the diversity of Canadian life in all its glorious wonder as only an eclectic group of professionals like Sultans of String can deliver!”  – Laura Vaillancourt, Executive Director, Ontario Philharmonic

“The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Sultans of String presented a fast-paced, energetic and engaging program… remarkable for its eclectic, rich programming that represented music of many different cultures. Bravo!”  – Allan Gaskin, Symphony Nova Scotia

“Thanks so much for the beautiful music. Your group is terrific- outstanding!” – Kathy Coltof, Ontario Philharmonic

“Your music is contagious and our audience loved it!  Working with all of you was a joy–professional, a great variety of musical styles, wonderful arrangements that were accessible for our audience and the orchestra loved them, exciting and colourful performances. A real treat to work with a group of talented, down-to-earth musicians. Can’t wait to do it again!” – John Kraus, Music Director, Northumberland Orchestra & Choir

sultans-of-string-smaller-symphony-recording-sessionSome of the symphonies we have played with

  • Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Bangor Symphony Orchestra (Maine)
  • Brantford Symphony Orchestra
  • Buffalo Symphony Orchestra
  • Burlington Symphony Orchestra
  • Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra
  • Catskill Symphony Orchestra
  • City of Prague Symphony Orchestra
  • Chicago’s Full Score Chamber Orchestra
  • Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
  • Kamloops Symphony Orchestra
  • Kingfield Pops
  • Kingston Symphony Orchestra
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
  • Mississauga Symphony Orchestra
  • Niagara Symphony Orchestra
  • North Bay Symphony
  • Northumberland Orchestra and Choir
  • Ontario Philharmonic
  • Peterborough Symphony Orchestra
  • Quinte Symphony
  • Sault Symphony Orchestra
  • Stratford Symphony Orchestra
  • Symphony of the Kootenays
  • Sudbury Symphony Orchestra
  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • Windsor Symphony Orchestra
  • Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
  • Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Sultans of String have been riding a wave of success, from their CDs hitting #1 on world/international music charts in North America, to their nine Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, winning Instrumental Group of the Year and World Group of the Year twice. 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, CBC’s Canada Live, and has topped global campus/community radio charts.

A Canadian string super-group, Sultans of String includes 5-string violinist and JUNO Award nominee Chris McKhool – who has guest starred with Jesse Cook and Pavlo. McKhool’s unbridled passion for exploring rhythms and melodies has led him to the far corners of the world, and he incorporates instruments and styles from far and wide into his music. Drawing from a collective of master musicians, Sultans of String brings their unique blend of Global music to audiences around the world including Celtic Connections Festival in the U.K., Birdland Jazz Club in NYC, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre, and symphony orchestras throughout North America.