3x JUNO Nominees and Billboard Charting SULTANS OF STRING Commemorate the Anniversary of the 1988 OJHRI CAMP Disaster With New Video From Their REFUGE Project

WHEN: Video Premiere – Friday April 9, 2021 at 10:30 am EST
SONG: Ojhri Camp, from album Refuge

Sultans of String, featuring Anwar Khurshid & Ravi Naimpally

Go to the video on YouTube at this link https://youtu.be/L4TQs_WGbNI to SET REMINDER for the premiere.

[Toronto ON] Sultans of String are releasing this song to coincide with the April 10 anniversary of the Ojhri Camp disaster that occurred at a military storage centre located in Rawalpindi Military District in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province of Pakistan on April 10, 1988. It was used as an ammunition depot for Afghan Mujahideen fighting against Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The camp exploded, killing more than 1,300 people as a result of rockets and other munitions expelled by the blast.

Sultans of String collaborator, Anwar Khurshid, was working and living nearby, and tells his version of the tragedy, followed by the music it inspired. This song was composed as a collaboration between Anwar, along with violinist and bandleader Chris McKhool, and fellow Sultans of String bandmates Kevin Laliberté, Drew Birston, and Rosendo “Chendy” Leon.

As Anwar recalls: “In 1988 when the Afghan war had just ended in Rawalpindi Islamabad, the capital there was an ammunition depot where ammo was stored. There was a fire and the stored missiles and bombs just started flying around. These were huge bombs, like some were like bigger than this room and they would just fly off and land within the city. They would cause havoc and huge destruction, huge amount of destruction wherever they would fall. Fortunately the fuses had been sort of pulled off so that they didn’t explode but nevertheless they would just fly off and they would destroy houses. You know, people were injured, people died and there were like hundreds of bombs that actually flew away, and hit the cities. 

So it was during the day, I was in Islamabad. I was actually tutoring someone in mathematics, so when this started to happen I came out and I thought we were in a war because these missiles would just go “zzzhhhh”. I had a motorbike and I took this kid and I said well it’s time to go, so we started going towards his home where I was going to deliver him to his family. So when we got there to our horror, there was a bomb sticking through the main living area, like you could see parts of the bomb. Apparently it had hit their house and it had circled around a few times, destroyed everything inside the house, and was just sitting there. Like, the furniture was in bits. Everything inside was just like little pieces. After I left the kid as I’m driving towards my place now I’m actually going in the direction where the bombs are emanating from. It was very scary actually… As I was driving my bike one of my tires blew but I didn’t care I just kept driving and it was utter chaos.”

THIS IS A SONG FROM SULTANS OF STRING ALBUM: REFUGE
Internationally awarded and honoured Canadian band Sultans of String collaborates with over 30 musicians on REFUGE, “a fantastic, moving, dreamlike, epic, timely album.” – Ken Micallef (Jazz Times, Stereophile, Downbeat).

Addressing the struggles of life on Mother Earth has always inspired Sultans of String. On this visionary seventh album, Refuge, they bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration to bear on 13 songs that speak to the challenges facing the world’s displaced peoples–their stories, their songs, their persistence and their humanity.

Joined by an international cast, some of whom are recent immigrants to North America, the celebrated quintet immerses themselves in the plight of the international refugee, and the humanitarian response that should greet everyone in search of a home.

“This project is centred around the positive contributions of refugees and new immigrants to U.S.A. and Canada” says bandleader Chris McKhool (ancestral name Makhoul), whose Lebanese grandfather stowed away on a ship bound for North America a century ago.

“We’re collaborating with special guests on the album who are newcomers to this land, Indigenous artists, 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 the conversations we can have as musicians will provide a model for peace that will inspire our politicians and citizens.”


FACEBOOK EVENThttps://www.facebook.com/events/1068966553598746 

BUY/LISTEN NOWhttp://smarturl.it/RefugeAlbum 
REFUGE EPKhttps://spark.adobe.com/page/nTMPzB2pbSPyP 
FACEBOOKhttps://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring 
SPOTIFY https://tinyurl.com/y5kxh96c 
TWITTERhttp://twitter.com/sultansofstring 
INSTAGRAMhttps://www.instagram.com/sultansofstring 

Sultans of String gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts – Digital Originals program. #BringingTheArtsToLife

Refuge was recorded thanks to the support of Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council, with Marketing support from FACTOR.

Lisa Weitz
Manager-Sultans of String
www.sultansofstring.com
416-846-6877 

Eric Alper
Publicist-Sultans of String
Eric@ThatEricAlper.com

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre presents BILLBOARD charting/4x CFMA winning SULTANS OF STRING as part of BPAC’s Cultural Diversity Festival — feat. the newly named Burlington Symphony & special guests Anwar Khurshid & Shannon Thunderbird

Sultans of String with the Burlington Symphony Orchestra

WHO:  BPAC presents Sultans of String at their Cultural Diversity Festival—featuring the Burlington Symphony & s/g Anwar Khurshid & Shannon Thunderbird

WHEN: Sunday, September 29, 2019, 4:00 pm

WHERE: Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Main Theatre, 440 Locust St, Burlington ON L7S 1T7

TIX/INFO: 905-681-6000, $39.50/$34.50 members, https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/sultans-of-string .

VIDEOS:

Enter The Gate

Palmas

Luna


FACEBOOK EVENT: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/2226004087513179


QUOTES:

“Chris McKhool and the boys are fantastic!” ~ Bob Ezrin (Producer, Pink Floyd. Peter Gabriel)

“Your set was sensational. Loved it.” ~ Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary)

“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.” ~ International Celtic Connections Festival, UK

“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

WEB/SOCIAL MEDIA:

Official Website
Facebook Page
Instagram
Twitter

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees – Producer of the Year
  • 2018 Music featured in the acclaimed film, “Hotel Mumbai”
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts  — # 6
  • 2017 JUNO nominees – World Music Album of the Year
  • 2017 New York Times Hits List
  • 2017 Billboard World Music Charts — # 15
  • 2016 Canada’s High Commission in London UK presents SOS at Trafalgar Square
  • 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards winners – World Music Group of the Year
  • 2016 Global Music Awards – World Music / Beats
  • 2016 ISC – Honorable Mention
  • 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 & 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 – Favorite World Group
  • 2009 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) First Place – 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
  • 2008 Festivals & Events Ontario- Best Variety Act

BIO:

3x JUNO nominees and Billboard charting Sultans of String are “an energetic and exciting band with talent to burn!” (Maverick Magazine UK). Thrilling audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, Flamenco, Gypsy-jazz, Arabic and Cuban rhythms, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar, while funky bass and shimmering sitar lay down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.

Since forming 10 years ago, Sultans of String’s music has hit #6 on Billboard’s world music charts, #1 across Canada on Top 10 national radio charts, landed the New York Times Christmas Hits list, and received multiple awards and accolades, including 1st place in the ISC (out of 15,000 entries), 4 Canadian Folk Music Awards, and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (for bandleader Chris McKhool). They have also performed/recorded with such luminaries as The ChieftainsAlex CubaSweet Honey in The Rock, and Ruben Blades.

McKhool (ancestral name Makhoul) has an Egyptian-born mother who happened to play piano, teach classical theory, and feed her young son as much Middle Eastern cuisine as she did music lessons. From there, the powerful violinist developed a taste for multi-genre string sounds and found a like-minded crew of all-world enthusiasts. When McKhool first heard founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s (Jesse Cook) 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 grew, featuring such amazing musical friends as in-the-pocket bass master Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk), the jaw-dropping beats of percussionist Alberto Suarez, and sitar master Anwar Khurshid (Oscar winning Life of Pi).

Sultans of String have been criss-crossing North America and UK for the last several years at many taste-making forums such as JUNOfest, NYC’s legendary club Birdland, Boston’s Scullers, and London’s Trafalgar Square. They recently sold out Koerner Hall (Toronto’s Carnegie Hall), and performed with Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Stratford, Ontario and Niagara Symphony Orchestras, as well with Kingsfield POPS in Maine and Maryland’s acclaimed Annapolis Symphony. Sultans of String have also been featured on MPBN’s Maine Arts!, and performed live on BBC TV, BBC Radio, Irish National Radio, and the internationally syndicated shows WoodSongs, World Cafe, and on SiriusXM in Washington.

Sultans of String Premiere Video for the Song “Turkish Greensleeves” from Christmas Caravan

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SULTANS OF STRING PREMIERE VIDEO FOR THE SONG TURKISH GREENSLEEVES 

BAND ON TOUR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 

CHRISTMAS CARAVAN AVAILABLE NOW ON MCKHOOL RECORDS/CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK – A DIVISION OF SONY MUSIC

Sultans of String premiere a new video for the song “Turkish Greensleeves” featuring Gundem Yayli Grubu from their album Christmas Caravan. See it here: https://youtu.be/kIBRBPF7Gw0

The Sultans of String are: Chris McKhool · Chendy Leon, Jr. · Eddie Paton · Drew Birston · Kevin Laliberté. The band is set to take their genre-bending mix of songs to venues across Canada and US. See full schedule below for shows for the whole family.

“The world-music group Sultans of String aim for international hybrids on the holiday album Christmas Caravan” – New York Times Christmas Hits List

As we get closer to the holiday season expect to hear songs from the band’s acclaimed album Christmas Caravan. Released in 2017 Christmas Caravan charted at #6 on Billboard’s World Music Chart and delivers musical harmony with its diverse sound. Co-produced by bandleader and violinist Chris McKhool, along with John “Beetle” Bailey who has been nominated by the Canadian Folk Music Awards as producer of the year for the release (results Dec. 8).

“Sultans of String keeps imaginative imperatives in overdrive for the entirety of Christmas Caravan, a generous pitch for global unity through the music of Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. These five musicians have jubilantly recharged the classics with arrangements that demand attention” – Downbeat

Sultans of String are 3x JUNO nominees/3x CFMA winning ambassadors of musical diversity. In 2017 they were recognized by the Folk Music Ontario Awards who honored Chris McKhool and Richard Bona with The Songs From the Heart Folk Music from Around the World Award for their song “Sing For Kwanzaa” from Christmas Caravan.

one is hard-pressed to recall anything quite like Christmas Caravan by Canada’s iconic ensemble the Sultans of String” World Music Report

On Christmas Caravan you with find collaborations with 6x Grammy winning Paddy Moloney (The Chieftains), Ruben Blades & Luba Mason (Panamanian 7 Grammy and 5 Latin Grammy Award winner), platinum-selling jazz vocalist Nikki Yanofsky, 2x JUNO/Grammy Winner Alex Cuba, Benoit Bourque of Quebec’s Bottine Souriante (3x JUNOs, 4x Gold, 3x Platinum records), Sweet Honey in the Rock (Grammy winning all-woman, African-American a cappella group), Cameroon’s Richard Bona (Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock), Canada’s singer to the stars Rebecca Campbell (Emmylou Harris, Alanis Morissette), singer Mary Fahl from NYC’s October Project, a recording collective of Turkish Roma violinists in Istanbul, Sudanese-Canadian singer Waleed Abdulhamid, Nashville-based JUNO Award winning country singer Crystal Shawanda, sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid, and hang drum player David Charrier from France.

See them at the following venues across Canada and the US:

Oct 14 – Bluffton, OH – Bluffton Townhall Concert Series
Oct 18 – Terrebonne, QC Chapelle du Collège Saint-Sacrement / Trio
Oct 19 – Gorham, NH – Medallion Opera House
Oct 20 – Gorham, NH – Medallion Opera House (10 am for young audiences)
Oct 21 – L’Assomption, QC – Theatre Hector-Charland / Quartet
Nov 1 – El Dorado, CA – El Dorado County Community Concerts
Nov 2 – Auburn, CA – Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (10 am & 1 pm for young audiences)
Nov 2 – Auburn, CA – Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center – evening show
Nov 3 – Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s
Nov 4 – Santa Monica, CA – McCabe’s (10:30 am for young audiences)
Nov 22 – Owen Sound ON – Heartwood Hall
Nov 24 – Utopia ON – Utopia Hall
Nov 25 – Kitchener ON – Registry Theatre
Nov 29 – Invermere BC – Pynelogs Cultural Centre-Columbia Valley Arts
Dec 1 and 2 – Cranbrook BC – Symphony of the Kootenays
Dec 3 – Golden BC – Kicking Horse Culture
Dec 4 – Trail BC – Charles Bailey Theatre
Dec 5 – Vancouver BC – Centennial Theatre
Dec 7 – Maple Ridge BC – ACT Arts Centre
Dec 12 – Picton ON – Regent Theatre
Dec 13 – Markham ON – Flato Markham Theatre
Dec 14 – Sudbury ON – Collège Boréal Concert Hall
Dec 15 – Welland ON – Welland-Port Colborne Concert Assn
Dec 16 – London ON – Aeolian Hall
Dec 17 – Lindsay ON – Academy Theatre
Dec 18 – Ottawa ON – NAC Studio Theatre
Dec 19 – Bellows Falls VT – Stone Church Center
Dec 20 – Norfolk CT – Infinity Hall
Dec 21 – Stroudsburg PA – Chester Concerts
Dec 22 – Boston MA – Extended Play Sessions
Dec 23 – Cazenovia NY – Catherine Cummings Theater

Christmas Caravan was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.  We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario. This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters.

www.sultansofstring.com
http://twitter.com/sultansofstring
www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
www.instagram.com/sultansofstring

Dana Gordon at Independent Music Media at HiDanaGirl@aol.com / #213-864-2690

Sultans of String Celebrate Lyric Inclusivity of O Canada with a New Video & Recording

O_CANADA_3000x3000_ENGLISH

In January 2018, legislation was passed to make an important change in the English-language version of Canada’s national anthem O Canada. The line “True patriot love in all thy sons command” was replaced with “True patriot love in all of us command” to ensure gender parity. This is an important step towards recognizing and including all Canadians in our national anthem.

3x JUNO Award nominees/CFMA winners Sultans of String are celebrating this change with a new video and recording!

As bandleader Chris McKhool explains, music is a perfect medium for uniting people for social justice: “What I really love about music is its ability to bring together people and cultures in a way that emulates what we love to see in the world, creating collaborations that break down the barriers that divide us, helping us to see our common humanity, and providing a model for peace. So we went into the streets of Toronto and invited people to write a message on our ‘Peace Kite’, and then flew it to spread the message of inclusion and peace across the country. Making this video revealed the tremendous generosity and goodwill of regular Canadians, and the gratitude and pride we all feel about our country. It also reminded us of Canada’s important reputation as a peacekeeping nation, and a haven to which people from around the world find freedom from persecution and war.”

For a musician whose career has been dedicated to bridging cultures through song, these themes are particularly meaningful. McKhool, whose name would have been spelled Makhoul in Kfarmishki, Lebanon, where his ancestors are from, loves being able to write and perform music with people from around the world who share a common vision. This production is another in an ongoing collaboration with award-winning Pakistani Canadian sitar player Anwar Khurshid.  “He’s become a great musical and personal friend”, says McKhool. “Together we started writing songs about the freedom and equality we personally experience living here in Canada, and about our hope of creating a better world for all.”

We welcome individuals and schools to download and use our MP3s royalty-free.  
  
English version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Q_cwkqa14Cg
 
Bilingual version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PLOAYoT4X-Q 

 


Credits:

Sultans of String:
Chris McKhool – violin
Kevin Laliberte – guitar
Drew Birston – bass
Rosendo ‘Chendy’ Leon – percussion

Featuring special guests:
Anwar Khurshid – sitar
Rebecca Campbell – vocals
Ravi Naimpally – tabla
Choir – Amoy Levy, Ciceal Levy, Adrienne McKenzie, Camille Harrison, Nevon Sinclair, Danah Martin

Produced by Chris McKhool
Engineered, mixed, mastered by John ‘Beetle’ Bailey
Videography by Jake Roels
Flag pattern by Gabriel Oliveira

www.sultansofstring.com
www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
twitter.com/sultansofstring
For more info, and to invite Chris McKhool and Sultans of String for presentations, please contact:
Lisa Weitz
416-624-3466 (office) • 416-846-6877 (cell)
lw@lwcommunications.ca